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Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Holocaust Controversies 

Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka 

Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

A Critique of the Falsehoods of Mattogno, Graf and Kues 

Holocaust Controversies 

A Holocaust Controversies White Paper, First Edition, December 2011 

© 2011 Jonathan Harrison, Roberto Muehlenkamp, Jason Myers, Sergey 
Romanov, Nicholas Terry 

This work may be freely distributed electronically as a PDF or reproduced on 
websites, but rights of authorship are reserved; please credit this to 'Holocaust 
Controversies'. Reproduction for commercial purposes is prohibited. 

Inquiries can be directed to questions.hc(a) . 

A note on internet links. 

This Critique contains numerous links to various online resources. Internet links 
are ephemeral and tend to "decay" as time passes. While there are no solutions 
that guarantee retrieval of the materials that have become unavailable, the 
reader can try to retrieve the defunct links with the help of the Wayback 
Machine - - that contains cached versions of millions of 

Dedicated to 
Harry Mazal 


Table of Contents 

Introduction 6 

Overview and Historiography of Aktion Reinhard 14 

Sources 25 

Structure of the Critique 33 

The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 38 

Wartime Reports 43 

Investigations and Trials 69 

Nazi Policy 90 

Extermination of Soviet Jews, June 1941-March 1942 94 

Evolution of Europe-Wide Final Solution, September - December 1941 109 

Local Exterminations: Chelmno, Serbia and Reich Jews in RK Ostland 120 

The Europe-Wide Final Solution, January 1942 - March 1943 131 

Killing of Soviet Jews, August-December 1942 139 

Conclusion 143 

Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 145 

The Origins of Aktion Reinhard 154 

Extermination and Labour 181 

Mattogno's 'Resettlement' Shell Game 211 

So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 239 

The Excruciatingly Slow Evolution of the Revisionist "Resettlement" Thesis 239 

"Resettlement" for MGK 243 

Realities in the Occupied Soviet Territories 252 

The Ostland 254 

Ukraine 262 

The Alleged Fate of the 'Resettied' Jews 266 

Gas Chambers at the Aktion Reinhard Camps 276 

A "Humane" Solution: Poison Gas and the Development of the Gas Chambers 276 

The Original & Second Gas Chambers at Belzec and Sobibor 284 

The Treblinka Camp 294 

Property Plunder 308 

The Gassing Engine: Diesel or Gasoline? 316 

Corpse Color 328 

Archaeology of the Gas Chambers 333 

Gas Chamber Ventilation 341 

Death Camp Witnesses 344 

MGK's Methodology (or lack thereof) 346 

Treatment of Witness Testimony 350 

Direct and Indirect Witnesses 354 

Dishonest Treatment of SS Witnesses 363 

Hypocritical Use of Witness Evidence 368 

Witness Convergences 378 

Mass Graves 382 

Number, Dimensions and Contents of the Mass Graves 383 

Mattogno et al's Claims: Nature and Purpose of Archaeological Investigations 400 

Human Remains Found 407 

Capacity of the Graves 416 

Soil Removed from the Graves 427 

Groundwater Pollution 429 

The 'Actual" Surface of the Graves 431 

Density of Corpses in the Graves 437 

Burning of the Corpses 440 

Cremation Devices, Methods and Times 441 

Fuel Requirements 457 

Duration of Cremations 490 

Cremation Remains 505 

Why Cremation? 514 

Conclusion 517 

Afterword: A Special Note by Jason Myers 528 

Bibliography 530 

Unpublished Sources 530 

Published Sources 533 


From the earliest days of their movement, Holocaust deniers have largely centred their 
arguments on the Auschwitz death camp. Surveying the literature which makes up so-called 
Holocaust Revisionism 1 , the obsession with Auschwitz is undoubtedly one of its defining 
features. Since the early 1990s, with the advent of the modern world-wide web, Holocaust 
deniers have taken to the internet to try and argue their case. Until recendy, the ensuing 
online debates between advocates of Holocaust denial and their critics have likewise focused 
on Auschwitz. In 2005, there was even a formal debate on Auschwitz between several 
prominent Revisionists and their critics, hosted at the Real Open Debate on the Holocaust 
forum. 2 

Around the same time, however, a noticeable shift in Revisionist discourse began to 
make itself felt. After arguing for so long over Auschwitz, and losing those arguments in 
open court during the Irving vs Lipstadt libel trial of 2000, deniers began to turn their 
attention to the so-called Aktion Reinhard camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. Although 
these camps had been discussed in passing in many older Revisionist works, it was not until 
the mid-2000s that they became a veritable fixation for Holocaust deniers. In 2005, sometime 
National Alliance activist Greg Gerdes created a website to promote a fictitious 'National 
Association of Forensic Criminologists and Historians' offering a reward for "proof" of the 
existence of mass graves at the three Reinhard camps - what constituted "proof", needless to 
say, was entirely up to Gerdes to dictate. The following year, perhaps inspired by the success 
of the 9/11 conspiracy video 'Loose Change', another American Revisionist, 'denierbud' (aka 
'Mike Smith' from California), released the first substantive attempt at a Revisionist You 
Tube documentary, the 30-part 'One Third of the Holocaust' video. Anti-deniers noticed that 
their opponents were losing interest in Auschwitz and becoming more obsessed with 

Part of the reason for this shift lay in the publication of new Revisionist works on 

1 The designation preferred by Holocaust deniers. We have used this label interchangeably with 'denier' and 
'negationist' to refer to those who contest the historical veracity of the Holocaust. 

2 Archived at . 


Treblinka and Belzec by veteran denier authors Carlo Mattogno and Jiirgen Graf. Mattogno, 
an Italian writer, had been active on the Revisionist scene since the mid-1980s, but remained 
a relatively obscure figure until his works were more extensively translated from Italian to 
English from the early 2000s as part of the 'Holocaust Handbooks' series edited by Germar 
Rudolf. Graf, a Swiss German, had made a name for himself on the denier scene from the 
early 1990s by virtue of being one of the first Swiss deniers to be prosecuted under anti-racist 
legislation passed in 1995 by referendum. Unusually for Revisionists, both authors had also 
visited archives together, and began to research a series of co-authored and single-authored 
books on different Nazi camps from the mid-1990s onwards. With the demise of so many 
other veteran Revisionist authors and the suspension of the Journal of Historical Review in 
2002, Mattogno and Graf have been the 'serious' face of Holocaust denial this century. 

The motivation for the following work initially arose out of prior efforts to establish a 
formal debate between Revisionists and non-Revisionists on the subject of the Aktion 
Reinhard camps, in a reprise of the 2005 RODOH debate on Auschwitz. In 2006, several of 
the authors of the present work had been involved in refuting the 'One Third of the Holocaust' 
video at the Holocaust Controversies blog, a refutation that had gone unanswered from the 
Revisionist side. 3 A formal debate seemed like the fairest way to test denier arguments about 
the Reinhard camps, and to give the Revisionist side the chance to respond to a considerable 
number of criticisms that had accumulated of the denier case against the Reinhard camps. It 
also seemed like the best way to draw a line under what had become a seemingly 
interminable argument across a number of internet forums, and have it out in the open. 

While several non-Revisionists volunteered for this event, and the Revisionist side 
was initially able to assemble a number of volunteers, the Revisionists were not in the end 
able to establish a debate team, and within weeks of the initial agreement had to declare 
themselves inquorate. Included among the invitees to join the Revisionist team were notable 
deniers such as Thomas Kues, Friedrich Berg, and 'denierbud', as well as lesser lights like 
Wilfried Heink, but the offer was not accepted by these negationist luminaries. Such a failure 
certainly puts the lie to the oft-heard demand by Revisionists that they want open debate on 
the Holocaust, a fact reinforced by the censorship tactics employed at the CODOH 
Revisionist forum. 

3 See the posts under 'Debunking Denierbud videos and writings' at: . 

Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Despite the failure of Revisionists to assemble a debate team, the non-Revisionists 
decided to go ahead with a response to deniers' arguments regarding the Reinhard camps. At 
the same time, there also exists a gap in Holocaust literature for a new complete history of 
Aktion Reinhard; much has been researched in the two decades since Yitzhak Arad published 
his 1987 monograph on the camps. While this critique cannot claim to serve as that new 
history, it has synthesized a lot of recent scholarship regarding the camps while also making 
some new connections based on the evidence, some of which has not been discussed in the 
available literature before. 

Moreover, refuting Revisionism was an opportunity for us to expand our historical 
work on the Holocaust into a larger text than the blog format allows, while synthesizing and 
developing some ideas already present in those articles. It was also a chance to enjoy the 
satisfaction of exposing shoddy and deceitful history. We feel that, despite the claims of some 
commentators that refuting Holocaust denial is a waste of effort, the opportunity to debunk 
the output of pseudoscholars is one that should be taken for its own sake. It does not mean 
that we regard deniers as equal debating partners on an intellectual or ethical level; instead, 
we proceed in the knowledge that deniers operate in ignorance and bad faith. 

The most obvious targets for such a project were Carlo Mattogno and Jiirgen Graf's 
Treblinka as well as Mattogno's Belzec. Some other denier works were included in our 
analysis and study as well, but it was decided that the primary focus of our efforts should 
remain on the foremost Revisionist researchers. It was also learned (through the private 
admission of one of the parties involved) that the lengthy article "Akte Sobibor" was to form 
the basis of a new work on the Sobibor camp by Mattogno, Graf, and Revisionist writer 
Thomas Kues (hereafter MGK). 4 That work appeared midway through the project, but we 
had been advised by Kues to disregard Akte Sobibor and instead save our efforts for the 
finished and extended study on the camp. 5 

The new work apparently gave members of MGK some added confidence. Since the 
appearance of Sobibor, after a year of silence in regards to the blog, Mattogno has posted a 
new response 6 , while Kues for the first time openly responded to a few criticisms of his 

4 Carlo Mattogno, Jiirgen Graf, Thomas Kues, Sobibor: Holocaust Propaganda and Reality, Washington: 
Barnes Review, 2010. 

5 Thomas Kues, e-mail message to authors, April 6, 2010. 

6 Carlo Mattogno, 'II comitato di soccorso Zimmerman: Glio Olo-Bloggers In(denigr)azione Nel Web,' Studi di 
Carlo Mattogno, October 4, 2010, 
zimmerman ; Roberto Muehlenkamp, 'Mattogno freaks out,' Holocaust Controversies, 7.10.10, . 


blogging and journalism for the Inconvenient History blog and journal. 7 For his part Graf, 
apparently in the name of "the authors of Sobibor" 8 , on two occasions in the past year has 
challenged the Holocaust Controversies blog crew to write a comprehensive and detailed 
critique of one of their works, suggesting Sobibor as a potential candidate on both occasions. 9 
Unfortunately for Graf and his cohorts, the present writers did not bother to wait for his 
invitations, nor are we restricting ourselves to just one book. Instead, we took it upon 
ourselves to critique what we saw as the denier 'trilogy' on the Reinhard camps produced by 
MGK: Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor. Where relevant we have also included responses to 
articles, blog posts, or other publications they and other deniers wrote apart from the three 
core Reinhard books. 

Reading extensively and studiously through MGK's trilogy and other works was 
hardly the most pleasant of experiences as a reader. The first thing that became apparent was 
the unjustifiable number and length of quotations that were used. In Belzec, for instance, the 
main text plus footnotes weighs in at a measly 46,636 words, while at least 18,494 of those 
words derived from block quotes. Thus 40% of Mattogno's work was simply quotes, often 
produced without analysis or comment, or even an explanation on why such lengthy quotes 
were included. 10 Such an addiction to quotations continued in Sobibor, where the reader is 
often presented with quotes numbering many hundreds of words. Following the introduction 
to the work, the reader is immediately hit by an extensive quote from the Encyclopedia of the 
Holocaust (hardly anything but a tertiary source) running some 2,196 words long. 11 As the 
main text and footnotes of Sobibor combine to roughly 150,000 words, the first quote already 
takes up nearly 1.5% of the entire work. The quote percentage of the main work continues to 
increase as you read on, with archaeologist Andrzej Kola quoted for a combined 3,328 words 
(2.2%), wartime demographer Eugene Kulischer quoted for 3,298 words (2.2%), Sobibor 

7 Thomas Kues, 'Lies and obfuscations about Himmler's Sobibor directive,' Inconvenient History blog, 22.5.11, ; Roberto 
Muehlenkamp, 'Thomas Kues on 'Lies and obfuscations about Himmler's Sobibor directive',' Holocaust 
Controversies blog, 25.5.11, 
obfuscations.html ; Thomas Kues, 'On the terms Sonderlager and SS-Sonderkommando,' Inconvenient History 
blog, 27.5.11, ; 
Roberto Muehlenkamp, 'Thomas Kues' takes on the Sonderlager paper dragon,' Holocaust Controversies blog, 
27.5.11, ; 
Thomas Kues, 'Sobibor-Muehlenkamp's "best explanation",' Inconvenient History blog, 4.6.11, ; Roberto Muehlenkamp, 
'Thomas Kues tries to defuse the Benda report,' Holocaust Controversies blog, 5.6.11, . 

8 Jiirgen Graf, e-mail message to authors, 19.10.10. 

9 Roberto Muehlenkamp, 'A message from Jiirgen Graf,' Holocaust Controversies blog, 24.6.11, 24.html . 

10 This figure would undoubtedly increase by removing the words included through footnotes. 

11 MGK, Sobibor, pp.15-20. 

Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

survivor and historian Jules Schelvis for 1445 words (1%), historian Christopher Browning 
for a combined 1,388 words (1%), historian Yitzhak Arad for 899 words (0.5%), historians 
Peter Witte and Stephen Tyas for 661 words (0.5%), archaeologist Yoram Haimi's team's 
Sobibor publication for 561 words (0.4%). All of those quotes contain other peoples' 
research, and their extensive length potentially breaches 'fair use', thus violating copyright. 
Just in those sources alone we reach nearly one-tenth of MGK's word count for their main 
text including footnotes. No mainstream publisher would ever accept the manuscripts for 
such books. The number of testimonies and documents quoted by MGK would no doubt 
substantially increase such a figure, lessening the amount of original work and interpretation 
that MGK actually produce. They also use an extensive amount of exclamation marks to 
emphasize their points, a feature usually completely absent from serious scholarship. 

The large number of quotes aside, it is still hard to determine many of MGK's actual 
arguments in their works. Their methodology is scattergun and piecemeal, something 
highlighted by the publication of one book per Reinhard camp, and largely negationist in 
approach. The overwhelming majority of the trilogy is dedicated to discussing what did not 
happen at the various Reinhard camps instead of what did. Such is of course the opposite of 
proper historiographical methods. Yet even in their negationist arguments one is hard pressed 
to work out a comprehensive and coherent history. Many witnesses are quoted, and then 
simply handwaved, ridiculed, or contradicted without any proper explanation about the 
sources' reliability or general circumstances. Were the witnesses present at the camp but 
telling lies in their testimony? Were they not present at all? Were they given a script to repeat 
during interrogations? Is their whole testimony worthless? None of these crucial issues are 
ever discussed by MGK. They also fail to establish a proper convergence through the 
different forms of evidence, which leaves their limited attempt to present a positive history 
when advancing their 'transit camp' thesis largely based on their negationist efforts to read 
the evidence, and thus renders this thesis completely incoherent. 

It also became painfully obvious that MGK are extremely repetitious in their works. 
Many of the same arguments or points were made across multiple writings in a variety of 
languages. This will become noticeable throughout the critique as multiple locations for 
MGK's arguments are pinpointed in the footnotes. 

Despite Graf's challenges to us and despite the limited responses from Mattogno and 
Kues to previous criticisms, faced with the scale of critique, MGK might feel the sudden urge 
to think up excuses in order to avoid responding to us. Mattogno had earlier chastised 
Holocaust Controversies as being "held in no account by Holocaust historians" and its writers 



'have published nothing in printed form." 12 Such an excuse came about after Mattogno had 


already responded to some of our blog posts, and so seems rather desperate. Our blog has 


actually been cited several times by Emory University's Holocaust Denial on Trial website , 
one of the primary online resources on Holocaust denial, as well as in the scholarly Holocaust 
collection put together by Pavel Polian and Alfred Kokh. 15 We need not boast about the 
emails and face to face remarks praising the blog we have received from academics; without 
naming all of the historians who have expressed their appreciation, we are quite certain that 
they outnumber whatever praise Mattogno himself has ever received from any academics. 16 
Mattogno also claimed that none of the blog members ever visited an archive, a library, have 
seen an original document, or are aware of the documentary evidence of the camps. This is 
flat out false, as will be seen in the following pages. Finally, although Mattogno says that we 
"love to hide behind pseudonyms," only one of the five present writers uses a pseudonym. 
Moreover, it is grossly ironic for Mattogno to moan about pseudonyms given the aliases used 
by Mattogno's own co-author 'Thomas Kues', and his former editor Germar Rudolf. 17 The 
blog does not make a claim to greatness or importance as MGK sometimes do, but instead 
was established so as to provide a more popular (i.e. not academic) response to the activities 
of Holocaust deniers. 18 With regard to this primary aim, we consider our blog to be extremely 

12 Mattogno, 'II comitato di soccorso Zimmerman.' 

13 Cf. Carlo Mattogno, 'Belzec or the Holocaust Controversy of Roberto Muehlenkamp,' . 

14 Emory University's Holocaust Denial on Trial website has several Myth/Fact pages to refute specific denier 
arguments. The Holocaust Controversies blog is cited in the following issues: '80,000 People Cannot Be Buried 
In A Grave The Size of a Henhouse,' ; 'There Are No Mass 
Graves At Treblinka,' http://www.hdot. org/en/learning/mvth-fact/graves 1 ; 'There are no Mass Graves in 
Belzec,' ; 'Mass Incineration: Not Enough Room To Crush 
The Bones,' ; 'The incineration fires would have 
needed to (sic) much wood: Part 1 of 2,' ; 'The 
incineration fires would have needed to (sic) much wood: Part 2 of 2,' 
fact/incinerate6 ; 'Where are the teeth that once belonged to that multitude of incineration victims,' . 

15 Pavel Polian and Alfred Kokh (eds), Otritsanie otritsaniia Hi bitva pod Aushvitsem. Debaty o demografii i 
gepolitike Kholokhosta, Moscow: Tri kvadrata, 2008. 

16 One of the authors has given papers on the history of Holocaust denial at academic conferences in late 2008, 
June 2009 and September 2010, attracting praise and encouragement from several historians whose work is 
cited in this critique. It may have escaped MGK's attention that Holocaust denial is largely now seen as an 
object for research by political scientists; historians will in the future be most likely to research the history of 
Revisionism from the perspective of the post- 1945 collective memory of Nazi atrocities and the Holocaust at 
best; or to situate the phenomenon into the context of extreme-right political movements and so-called 'secodary 
antisemitism' after 1945. No historian of our acquaintance takes the historical interpretations advanced by 
Holocaust revisionism seriously. 

17 For more on Rudolf, see Harry Mazal, 'What's in a nym?' Holocaust History Project, http://www. holocaust- 
history, org/denial/nym.shtml . 

18 Nick Terry, 'Intention and Explanation,' Holocaust Controversies, March 23, 2006, . 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

If MGK were to employ such a dodge tactic to refuse a response, then they would 
obviously bear the brunt of their own sword, for none of the three have submitted anything 
for a peer-reviewed journal (no denier work is peer-reviewed as there simply are no peers for 
them), nor do any of them have university credentials. Thus, there is no justification that 
compels academics to automatically take them seriously. Indeed, this critique shows why 
Revisionist arguments are anything but. 

There also was never a great need for the present writers to even bother with MGK's 
arguments; nor do they consider MGK's work to be so impressive as to demand a mainstream 
response. A simple survey of the general state of Revisionism is enough to reaffirm to 
scholars that negationist arguments are unworthy of academic consideration. The most 
recognized Holocaust denier, David Irving, recanted his earlier gas chamber denial several 
years ago 19 , and has expressly stated his belief that the Reinhard camps were a site of mass 
murder. 20 The newer works by MGK do not even appear to be read by their fellow deniers, 
with their works very seldom referred to in discussion forums and in other Revisionist 
articles. Thomas Rues' own blog partner recently admitted of the Sobibor book, which has 
been freely available online for more than a year, "I've not read what Messrs. Mattogno, Graf 
and Kues have written." 21 Internet traffic counters also support the simple fact that only a 
very small number of people are actually reading MGK's work. 22 If MGK's own 
cheerleaders don't even bother with their convoluted work, there is no reason why 
professional historians should. Indeed the real driving factor behind this critique remained 
our historical interest in the Holocaust, and the enjoyable experience we had of exposing 
shoddy and deceitful history. 

Reading through the collective works and online comments by MGK, it becomes 
clear to the reader that the trio possess a high degree of resentment and contempt for those 
who tell a different history than the one they half-heartedly propose. In many instances 

19 Irving still challenges gassings in some of the crematoria in Auschwitz-Birkenau, but does accept that 
hundreds of thousands perished in the bunkers. 

20 Marissa Brostoff, 'Holocaust Deniers Rankled by Their Standard Bearer's Revisions,' The Jewish Daily 
Forward, 3.10.2007, . 

21 See post #10 by Wilfried Heink (aka 'neugierig') of 27.12.2011 in the RODOH discussion thread "Our 
Holiday Gift to Mattogno, Graf and Kues: The AR Critique," available at . 

22 The Holocaust Handbooks website, where all of the series' works can be downloaded for free, including new 
works such as MGK's Sobibor, was given a rank of 26,240,705 for internet traffic, according to the web 
information company Alexa in December 2011. This rank is dwarfed by the rankings of the denier websites 
CODOH (801,960) and VHO (331,727) as well as our own blog Holocaust Controversies (2,792,586). The 
website SiteAnalytics, operated by Competejnc, cannot even record the number of visitors to the Holocaust 
Handbooks website as the traffic is so low, suggesting far fewer than 1,000 visits a month, while our blog 
averages around 7,000 per month. 



Holocaust survivors have been blatantly described as liars 23 and stupid. 24 Those Germans 
who admitted to their participation in the gassings have also been described as traitors. 25 
Such scornfulness is also evident against other researchers and historians of the Holocaust, as 
their honor is repeatedly questioned 26 , as is sometimes even their morality. 27 The very 
authors of this critique have also been exposed to personal attacks from the trio, being called 
armchair critics, cowards, and sophists by Mattogno, 28 and liars, disinformers, slanderers and 
charlatans by Kues. 29 For our part we haven't pulled punches in our analysis of MGK, as 
people who have voluntarily excluded themselves from peer review can't expect the same 
civility that academics would give to peers. Rather than indulge in hollow name-calling as 
they do, however, we have in this analysis focused on exposing their fallacies and left the 
decision on appropriate epithets to our readers. We have also refrained from saying much 
about the apparent motives of MGK until the conclusion. 

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, the present authors need to address some 
basic issues such as our general understanding of Aktion Reinhard, a serious review of the 
current literature on the subject, an explanation regarding the structure of the present critique, 
as well as personal acknowledgements from the authors. Readers should note two major 
stylistic differences between this critique and the works of MGK immediately: the structure 
of the work and the literature review. In their major works, MGK generally follow the odd 
path of historiography and wartime knowledge, technical matters related to exterminations 
within the camps, war crime trials, Nazi policy, and then conclude by arguing for the 
supposed 'real' purpose of the camps discussed. 30 More will be said about our structure later 
in this introduction. What follows, however, is a conventional academic literature review of 
the Aktion Reinhard camps. While Graf assumes that writing pot shots and snarky comments 
against memoirists and historians about the camps count as proper literature reviews, he is 
sadly mistaken. 31 

23 M&G, Treblinka, pp.41, 175; MGK, Sobibor, pp.88, 175, 187, 188, 190, 399. 
24 M&G, Treblinka, p. 136. 

25 MGK, Sobibor, p.188. 

26 MGK, Sobibor, pp.60, 167. 

27 Jiirgen Graf, 'Was geschah mit den nach Auschwitz deportierten, jedoch dort nicht registrierten Juden?' 
Vierteljahreshefte fur freie Gesichtsforschung, 2/2, 2000, pp. 140-149. Graf describes historian Georges Wellers 
as "ein Mann von niedrigem moralischen Niveau." 

28 Carlo Mattogno, 'II comitato di soccorso Zimmerman.' 

29 See Thomas Kues' 25.6.10 comments in response to criticism from a non-HC member, available below one of 
his articles: Thomas Kues, 'Chil Rajchmans Treblinka-vittnesmal - En kritisk granskning,' Mohamed Omar 
Blog, 22.6.10, — 

30 See M&G, Treblinka, as well as MGK, Sobibor, for said structures. 

31 M&G, Treblinka, pp.19-46; MGK, Sobibor, pp.15-61. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Overview and Historiography of Aktion Reinhard 

Between March 1942 and October 1943, nearly 1.4 million Jews were deported to the camps 
of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. The camps were operated under the auspices of the SS and 
Police Leader (SS- und Polizeifuhrer, SSPF) Lublin, Odilo Globocnik, and used the 
codename 'Einsatz Reinhardt' or 'Aktion Reinhard'. German SS men along with companies 
of Ukrainian auxiliaries trained at the Trawniki camp manned the camps in detachments 
designated 'SS-Sonderkommando'. The majority of the German staff had previously served 
in six euthanasia 'institutes' in Germany as part of the T4 organisation named after its 
headquarters on Tiergartenstrasse 4 in Berlin. There they had helped murder 70,000 
'incurable' psychiatric patients using carbon monoxide gas dispensed from cylinders, and to 
cremate the bodies. 

The overwhelming majority of the 1.4 million Jewish deportees to the Aktion 
Reinhard camps died either en route or immediately after arrival, victims of the Nazi 'Final 
Solution of the Jewish Question'. A tiny percentage were selected after arrival for forced 
labour either in the three camps or, more rarely, in nearby labour camps, work which the 
majority did not survive. A significant number of the deportees died en route while still on 
the trains from asphyxiation or exhaustion. Many more were shot immediately after arrival 
for resisting or because they were deemed too weak to walk towards the main killing method 
at the three camps, gas chambers into which carbon monoxide-laden engine exhaust fumes 
were piped. At first, the corpses of the victims - from whatever cause - were dragged to mass 
graves by the Jewish slave labourers who had been temporarily spared execution and buried 
there; later on, the decomposed and decomposing bodies were exhumed and burned on large 
open-air pyres along with the corpses of newly arrived victims. In two of the three camps, the 
slave labourers successfully revolted, breaking out of Treblinka in August 1943 and Sobibor 
in October 1943. 

Most of the victims of Aktion Reinhard were Polish Jews from the Warsaw, Radom, 
Cracow, Lublin and Galicia districts of the Generalgouvernement as well as the Zichenau and 
Bialystok districts annexed into Germany proper. But transports arrived directly or indirectly 
at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka from Germany, Austria, the so-called 'Protectorate' of 
Bohemia-Moravia (today's Czech Republic), Slovakia, the Yugoslavian region of 
Macedonia, the Greek region of Thrace, France, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Belorussia. 
Virtually none survived. Precisely two out of 17,004 Jews deported from Theresienstadt to 
Treblinka in the autumn of 1942 were alive at the time of liberation. Among those who did 



not survive were three of Sigmund Freud's sisters. 32 Of the 34,313 Jews deported from the 
Netherlands to Sobibor in the spring and early summer of 1943, just 18 survived the war. 33 

How do we know all this? How did we come to know about Belzec, Sobibor and 
Treblinka? A short answer to this question would go something like this: during the war, 
reports began to appear within a month of the opening of Belzec that large numbers of Jews 
were entering the camp and not coming out. 34 A growing number of reports reaching the 
Polish underground state, the Delegatura, as well as Jewish organizations such as the Oneg 
Shabes archive in Warsaw 35 , led virtually all within Poland quickly to conclude that Belzec, 
Sobibor and Treblinka were sites of extermination. Hearsay rumours of the use of electricity 
and steam circulated among the Polish and Jewish population of Poland as well as among 
German occupation officials and troops, but the majority of the reports in Poland converged 
on the use of gas chambers. Eyewitness accounts were written at the time by a small number 
of escaped prisoners. 36 The news was communicated in partially distorted form to the outside 
world. Reports of Belzec and Sobibor reached London along with reports on the Chelmno 
extermination camp in the annexed territory of the Warthegau, in June 1942. 37 A further 
crucial report, combining information compiled by Oneg Shabes with Polish underground 
sources, was brought out by the Polish underground courier Jan Karski in November 1942 38 , 
and together with other evidence from other regions of Nazi-occupied Europe, led the Allies 

32 Alfred Gottwaldt, 'Sigmund Freuds Schwestern und der Tod. Anmerkungen zu ihrem Schicksal in 
Deportation und Massenmord', Psyche 58, 2004, pp. 533-543. On these transports see also Miroslav Karny, 'Das 
Schicksal der Theresienstadter Osttransporte im Sommer und Herbst 1942', Judaica Bohemiae, 1988. 

33 Schelvis, Sobibor. A History of a Nazi Death Camp, New York, 2007, p. 227 n.12: "Earlier publications 
reported nineteen survivors. However, one of the women, Jeanette de Vries-Blitz, who registered as a survivor 
with the Red Cross, was actually never at Sobibor according to the Rijksinstituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie 

34 For the most recent and most comprehensive overview on the initial reports of extermination in Poland, see 
Adam Pulawski, W obliczu Zaglady. Rzqd RP na Uchodzstwie, Delegatura Rzqdu RP na Kraj, ZWZ-AK wobec 
deportacji Zydow do obozow zaglady (1941-1942). Lublin: Instytut Pami^ci Narodowej, 2009. 

35 Samuel Kassow, Who Will Write Our History? Rediscovering a Hidden Archive from the Warsaw Ghetto. 
London, 2007. 

36 Most notably the comprehensive account by Treblinka escapee Abraham Krzepicki, given to Oneg Shabes 
and published after the war as Abraham Krzepicki, 'Treblinka', Biuletyn ZIH 43-44, 1962, pp. 84-109, translated 
in Alexander Donat (ed.), The Death Camp Treblinka, New York: Holocaust Library, 1979, as well as the 
account by Yankiel Wiernik, Rok w Treblince, Warsaw, 1944, translated as A Year In Treblinka, New York, 
1944; two more wartime (1943-44) accounts by escapees from the Treblinka extermination camp and labour 
camp have recently been published as Israel Cymlich and Oskar Strawczynski, Escaping Hell in Treblinka. New 
York: Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Survivors' Memoirs Project, 2007. 

37 A good summary of this phase is in Dariusz Stola, 'Early News of the Holocaust from Poland', HGS 11/1, 
1997, pp. 1-27. For background on the Polish government-in-exile 's reactions to the Holocaust, see David Engel, 
In the Shadow of Auschwitz: The Polish Government-in-Exile and the Jews, 1939-1942. Chapel Hill: University 
of North Carolina Press, 1987, and Facing a Holocaust. The Polish Government-in-Exile and the Jews 1943- 
1945. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993. 

38 David Engel, 'Jan Karski's Mission to the West, 1942-1944', HGS 5/4, 1990, pp.363-380; Thomas E. Wood 
and Stanislaw M. Jankowski, Karski: How One Man tried to Stop the Holocaust. New York: John Wiley & 
Sons, 1994. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

to issue a declaration in December 1942 condemning the Nazi extermination of the Jews. 39 
Further reports leaked out via exchanges of citizens of Mandate Palestine with interned 
Germans 40 , Slovakia 41 , Sweden 42 and into Germany. 43 By 1943, the Polish underground was 
tracking the course of the extermination campaign as well as the cover-up attempts of the 
Nazis at the camps very closely. 44 Wartime publications outside Nazi-occupied Europe 
reprinted some of the most crucial early reports, complete with inaccuracies such as 
misidentifying gas chambers as steam chambers 45 , while other publications, based on more 
recent reports without the distortion of wartime hearsay and Chinese whispers, spoke of gas 
chambers 46 , and newspapers reprinted testimonies from Treblinka escapees offering a 
detailed account of the extermination process. 47 

In the summer of 1944, the sites of the three camps were overrun in the Soviet 
summer offensive, and survivors began to come out of hiding, joining nearby villagers who 
had observed the killing and burning on their doorsteps in giving testimonies and statements 
to Polish and Soviet investigators 48 as well as Polish and Soviet journalists 49 ; these recipients 

39 The spread of reports of extermination is well covered in Walter Laqueur, The Terrible Secret. An 
Investigation into the Suppression of Information About Hitler's 'Final Solution'. London, 1980 and Martin 
Gilbert, Auschwitz and the Allies. London, 1981. 

40 Tuvia Frilling, Arrows in the Dark. David Ben-Gurion, the Yishuv Leadership, and Rescue Attempts During 
the Holocaust. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2005. 

41 Gila Fatran, 'The "Working Group",' HGS 8/2, 1994, pp.164-201. 

42 Jozef Lewandowski, 'Early Swedish Information about the Nazis' Mass Murder of the Jews', Polin, 2000. 

43 The most comprehensive account of German knowledge is Bernward Dorner, Die Deutschen und der 
Holocaust. Was niemand wissen wollte, aberjeder wissen konnte. Berlin: Proylaen, 2007. 

44 Excerpts from the reports, which consisted of individual, weekly/fortnightly and monthly overviews , have 
been published in Maria Tyszkowa, 'Eksteminacja Zydow w latach 1941-1943. Dokumenty Biura Informacji i 
Propagandy KG AK w zbiorach oddzialu rekopisow BUW', Biuletyn ZIH 4, 1964; Krystyna Marczewska and 
Wladyslaw Wazniewski, 'Treblinka w swietle Akt Delegatury Rzadu RP na Kraj', in: Biuletyn Glownej Komisji 
Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce, XIX, Warsaw 1968, pp. 129-164; Jozef Marszalek, 'Rozpoznanie 
Obozow Smierci w Belzcu, Sobiborze i Treblince przez wywiad A.K. i Delegatury Rzadu Rzeczypospolitej na 
Kraj. i Armii Krajowej', Zeszyty Majdanka t. 14, 1992, pp. 39-59; underground press commentary is surveyed in 
Bogdan Chrzanowski, 'Eksterminacja ludnosci zydowskiej w swietle polskich wydawnictw konspiracyjnych', 
BZIH 133-134, 1985, pp. 85-104 and in the dissertation by Klaus-Peter Friedrich, Der nationalsozialistische 
Judenmord in polnischen Augen: Einstellungen in den polnischen Presse 1942-1946/47, PhD, Universitat zu 
Koln, 2002. 

45 Jacob Apenszlak (ed), The Black Book of Polish Jewry. An Account of the Martyrdom of Polish Jewry under 
the Nazi Occupation. New York, 1943. 

46 Jacob Apenszlak and Moshe Polakiewicz, Armed Resistance of the Jews in Poland. New York: American 
Federation of Polish Jews, 1944. 

47 Canadian Jewish Chronicle, 13.1.1944. The account published here is identical with the information 
conveyed by David Milgroim, who escaped Treblinka in 1942, via Slovakia in August 1943. See Richard 
Breitman, 'Other Responses to the Holocaust' in: Richard Breitman, Norman W. Goda, Timothy Naftali and 
Robert Wolfe (eds), U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 45-72, 
here p. 51 

48 Excerpts of the Soviet 65' Army's 1944 investigation into Treblinka were published in F.D. Sverdlov (ed), 
Dokumenty obviniaiout. Kholokost: svidetel 'stva Krasnoi Armii. Moscow, 1996. 

49 The best known accounts are: Vasily Grossman, Treblinksii ad, Moscow 1944 and many subsequent 
reprints/translations; Ilya Ehrenburg, 'Sobibor', in: Jewish Black Book Committee, The Black book: the Nazi 



were soon joined by the Central Jewish Historical Commission of Poland 50 , which took down 
further testimonies and also began the process of historical research by sifting through 
captured German documents 51 as well as publishing memoirs, narrative accounts and studies 
in Polish and Yiddish. 52 The sites - which rapidly resembled moonscapes due to grave- 
robbing by peasants and others searching for imaginary 'Jewish gold' - were inspected in 
1944 by the Soviets and examined in greater detail by investigators of the Polish Main 
Commission in the autumn of 1945. Enormous quantities of ash from cremains as well as 
other body parts littered the sites, which stank according to visitors who recorded their 
impressions at the time. 53 Utilising eyewitness testimonies, the physical inspections and 
investigations of the condition of the sites and a certain number of captured German 
documents, the Polish Main Commission concluded that Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka had 
been extermination camps and estimated the number of victims at 1,631,000 (Belzec: 
600,000; Sobibor: 250,000; Treblinka: 781,000), rejecting earlier overestimates from 
disoriented survivors that ranged up to 2 or 3 million per camp. 54 The evidence gathered was 
then used in certain trials of Nazi officials extradited to postwar Poland. For example the 
Treblinka investigation was submitted in toto at the trial of Ludwig Fischer, the governor of 
the Warsaw district. 55 

At the same time as investigations in Poland were under way, eyewitnesses began to 
give testimonies in Western Europe, some from survivors and some from SS men who had 

crime against the Jewish people. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1946 and also intended to be published in 
the suppressed Russian-language edition of the Black Book. 

50 On the Jewish Historical Commission in Poland, see Laura Jockusch, 'Collect and Record! Help to Write the 
History of the Latest Destruction! ' Jewish Historical Commissions in Europe, 1943-1953, PhD, New York 
University, 2007, pp. 146-237; Feliks Tych, 'The Emergence of Holocaust Research in Poland: The Jewish 
Historical Commission and the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland (ZIH), 1944-1989' in David Bankier and 
Dan Michman (eds), Holocaust Historiography in Context: Emergence, Challenges, Polemics and 
Achievements, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2008, pp. 227-244. 

51 Samples of both testimonies and documents were published in the three volumes of the Dokumenty i 
materialy series. 

52 A good overview of the early historiography of the Holocaust in Poland can be found in Natalia Aleksiun, 
'Polish Historiography of the Holocaust - Between Silence and Public Debate', German History Vol 22 No 3, 
2004, pp.406-432. 

53 See Martyna Rusiniak, Treblinka - Eldorado Podlasia?', Kwartalnik Historii Zydow 2/2006, pp. 200-211; Jan 
Tomasz Gross, Zlote zniwa. Rzecz o tym, co sie dzialo na obrzezach zaglady Zydow. Krakow: Znak, 2011. 

54 Summaries of the reports were published in Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in 
Poland (ed), German crimes in Poland, Warsaw 1946-7, an English translation of the first two volumes of 
Biuletyn Glownej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce. Longer versions of reports on indvidual 
camps were published as Zdzislaw Lukaszkiewicz, Oboz stracen w Treblince, Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 
Warsaw 1946; On the Polish Main Commission in general, see Andreas Mix, 'Juristische Ermittlungen und 
historische Forschung in Polen. Von der "Hauptkommission" zum Institut des Nationalen Gedenkens' in Benz, 
Wolfgang (ed), Wann Ziehen wir endlich den Schlussstrich? Von der Notwendigkeit offentlicher Erinnerung in 
Deutschland, Polen und Tschechien. Berlin: Metropol, Berlin, 2004, pp. 75-94. 

55 See the files AIPN NTN 69 and 70. On Polish war crimes trials see in general Bogdan Musial, ,NS- 
Verbrecher vor polnischen Gerichten', VfZ 47, 1999, pp. 25-58; Alexander Victor Prusin, 'Poland's Nuremberg: 
The Seven Court Cases of the Supreme National Tribunal, 1946-1948', HGS, 24/1, 2010, pp. 1-25. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

visited the camps or knew of their purpose. German documentary evidence, not least from the 
official diary of Hans Frank's Generalgouvernement administration, was examined and 
conclusively proved that Nazi policy towards Polish Jews was one of extermination, leaving 
only a minority alive temporarily as slave labourers. The International Military Tribunal at 
Nuremberg as well as the successor Doctors' Trial 56 and Oswald Pohl Trial collectively 
uncovered the evidence of the T4-Aktion Reinhard connection, the involvement of the SS 
Economic and Administration Main Office (Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt, WVHA) 
in the processing of plunder as well as the role of Odilo Globocnik in directing Aktion 
Reinhard. 57 The Dutch Red Cross launched a systematic investigation of the fate of the 
34,313 Dutch Jews deported to Sobibor, based on the records of the Westerbork transit camp 
in the Netherlands and the testimonies of the 18 survivors. 58 Dutch cooperation with the 
Polish Main Commission over Sobibor was close. 59 

By the end of the 1940s, the evidence for extermination at the Aktion Reinhard 
Camps was sufficiently conclusive that they could be labeled a historical fact. However, only 
a fraction of the total evidence had hitherto come to light. Historians began the process of - 
research, aided on the one hand by the publication of many documents and other sources 
from the 1940s trials, but hampered by lack of access to the full range of sources - as was 
universal in an era before anyone had thought of a Freedom of Information Act. Belzec, 
Sobibor and Treblinka were prominently discussed in all of the original pioneering overviews 
by Leon Poliakov, Gerald Reitlinger, Arthur Eisenbach and Raul Hilberg published from 
1951 to 1961. 60 Indeed, Eisenbach published the first short English-language overview of 
Aktion Reinhard in 1962. 61 Outside the academy, survivors and members of the 
landsmanshaften of the erased Jewish communities of Poland began to compile so-called 

56 Ulf Schmidt, Justice at Nuremberg : Leo Alexander and the Nazi doctors trial. Basingstoke: Palgrave 
Macmillan, 2004; Paul Weindling, Nazi Medicine and the Nuremberg Trials. From Medical War Crimes to 
Informed Consent. Houndsmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. 

Stanislaw Piotrowski, Misja Odyla Globocnika: sprawozdania o wynikach finansowych zaglady zydow w 
Polsce, Warsaw: Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1949. 

58 Affwikkelingsbureau Concentratiecampen, Sobibor, 's Gravenhage, 1946; Informatiebureau van Het 
Nederlansche Roode Kruis, Sobibor, 's Gravenhage, 1947; A de Haas, L Landsberger, K Selowsky, Sobibor : 
rapport omtrent de Joden, uit Nederland gedeporteerd naar het kamp Sobibor, 4de verb, en aangev. uitg., 's 
Gravenhage : Vereniging het Ned. Roode Kruis, 1952. 

59 See the correspondence in AIPN Ob. 60. 

60 Leon Poliakov, Breviare de la haine, Paris, 1951; Gerald Reitlinger, The Final Solution: The Attempt to 
Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945, London: Vallentine Mitchell, 1953; Arthur Eisenbach, Hitlerowska 
polityka eksterminacji Zydow w latach 1939-1945 jako jeden z przejawow imperializmu niemieckiego, Warsaw: 
ZIH, 1953 and Hitlerowska polityka zaglady Zydow, Warsaw, 1961; Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of European 
Jews, Chicago: Quadrangle, 1961. 

61 Artur Eisenbach, 'Operation Reinhard, Mass Extermination of the Jewish Population in Poland', Polish 
Western Affairs 3, 1962, pp.80-124. 



yizker bukher or memorial books, and a number of these memorial books contained the 
testimonies of Sobibor and Treblinka survivors, as well as copious detail on the deportations, 
and escapes from deportation trains. 62 

In contrast to other Nazi camps, the staff of Aktion Reinhard was slow to be 
apprehended, not least because the camps were closed down and the personnel transferred to 
other duties long before the end of war, whereas concentration camp staff was generally 
captured in or near to concentration camps in the spring of 1945. Many, like Christian Wirth, 
the "inspector" of the three camps, had died during the war. Globocnik had committed 
suicide in 1945, and key subordinates such as Franz Stangl, the commandant of Sobibor and 
Treblinka, had assumed false identities and later fled to Latin America. Thus it was not until 
1948-1950 that the first SS men who had served at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka were 
interrogated about their activities by detectives from the newly created state of West 
Germany, in the course of the judicial investigation of the T4 euthanasia program, and then 
put on trial. 63 Their Ukrainian auxiliaries, however, had been apprehended and interrogated 
in ever increasing numbers by Soviet investigators starting in September 1944, but it was not 
until several decades later that these statements began to be made available in the West. 64 In 
1958, West Germany began to investigate Nazi crimes systematically through the Central 
Office of State Justice Administrations for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes 
{Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltungen zur Aufklarung nationalsocialistischer 
Verbrechen) 65 , and succeeded in apprehending a significant number of the Aktion Reinhard 
SS, prosecuting them in a series of trials in the 1960s while also investigating and prosecuting 
the crimes of other SS and Police commands that had been involved in the deportation side of 
Aktion Reinhard. 66 The capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann prompted a further bout of 

62 On the memorial books see Jack Kugelmass and Jonathan Boyarin (eds), From a Ruined Garden: The 
Memorial Books of Polish Jewry, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998, 2 n expanded edition. 

63 Dick de Mildt, In The Name of the People: Perpetrators of Genocide in the Reflection of their Postwar 
Prosecution in West Germany. The 'Euthanasia' and 'Aktion Reinhard' Trial Cases. The Hague, 1996; Michael 
S. Bryant, Confronting the "Good Death": Nazi Euthanasia on Trial, 1945-1953. Boulder: University Press of 
Colorado, 2005. 

64 Dieter Pohl, 'Sowjetische und polnische Strafverfahren wegen NS-Verbrehcen - Quellen fur den Historiker?' 
in Andreas Wirsching, Jiirgen Finger and Sven Keller (eds), Vom Recht zur Geschichte. Akten aus NS-Prozessen 
als Quellen der Zeitgeschichte, Gottingen: Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht , 2009, pp. 132-141. 

65 Annette Weinke, Eine Gesellschaft ermittelt gegen sich selbst. Die Geschichte der Zentralen Stelle in 
Ludwigsburg 1958-2008, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2008; Hans H. Poschko (ed). Die 
Ermittler von Ludwigsburg. Deutschland und die Aufklarung nationalsozialistischer Verbrechen. Berlin, 2008. 

66 Adalbert Riickerl, NS-Vernichtungslager im Spiegel deutscher Strafprozesse. Munich, 1977; de Mildt, In the 
Name of the People. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

publications of evidence of Nazi crimes, including the crimes of Aktion Reinhard 67 , and saw 
a number of survivors of Sobibor and Treblinka give evidence during the trial. 68 

At the same time, there were a series of trials of Trawniki men in the Soviet Union. 
From the 1970s, judicial investigations of Aktion Reinhard revolved almost entirely around 
the Trawniki men, with trials in West Germany of the commandant of Trawniki, Karl 
Streibel, as well as of a Trawniki man assigned to the Treblinka I labour camp. Trawnikis 
who had emigrated to the United States and Canada began to be investigated from the end of 
the 1970s, in the US under the auspices of the Office of Special Investigations 69 , and in 
Canada by a unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. These investigations benefited from 
increased cooperation between the Soviet Union, West Germany and North America, and led 
to denaturalization proceedings and the deportation of Nazis and their collaborators who had 
lied while immigrating. The most prominent case involved a Trawniki man, Ivan Demjanjuk, 
who was denaturalized and deported to Israel, which prosecuted him for his alleged role at 
Treblinka in 1987, convicting him and sentencing him to death. 70 This sentence was 
overturned on appeal due to the emergence of new evidence and the realisation that this was a 
case of mistaken identity 71 ; Demjanjuk had not been "Ivan the Terrible" but had in fact been 
a guard at Sobibor. Returning to the US, Demjanjuk was again denaturalized and deported to 
Germany in 2009, where he was put on trial in 2010 and convicted in May 2011, almost 
certainly the last man to be tried for his involvement in Aktion Reinhard. 72 

Our knowledge of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka does not, however, rest solely on 
judicial investigations. From the 1960s onwards, journalists, freelance writers and 
documentary film-makers portrayed these camps using classic journalistic methods, 

67 Szymon Datner; Janusz Gumkowski; Kazimierz Leszczynski, Zbrodnie Adolfa Eichmanna. Cz. 2, Wysiedlana 
w Zamojszczyznie. Zaglada Zydow w obozach na Ziemiach Polskich, Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Prawnicze, 1960. 

68 See the transcript published as State of Israel, Ministry of Justice (ed), The Trial of Adolf Eichmann. Record 
of Proceedings in the District Court of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 1993, available online at 
http://nizkor.Org/hweb/people/e/eichmann-adolf/transcripts/ . On the role of witnesses at the Eichmann trial, see 
Lawrence Douglas, The Memory of Judgement. Making Law And History In The Trials Of The Holocaust. 
London: Yale University Press, 2001, pp. 97-182. 

69 On the early years of the OSI, see Allan Ryan, Quiet Neighbors. Prosecuting Nazi War Criminals in America, 
New York, 1984; on Canadian context see David Matas with Susan Charendoff, Justice Delayed: Nazi War 
Criminals in Canada, Toronto: Summerhill Press, 1987; Howard Margolian, Unauthorized Entry: The Truth 
about War Criminals in Canada, 1946-1956, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000. 

70 For accounts of the trial, see Tom Teicholz, Ivan the Terrible. The Trial of John Demjanjuk. London, 1990 as 
well as the memoir of his defense lawyer, Yoram Sheftel, Show Trial. The Conspiracy to Convict John 
Demjanjuk as ,Ivan the Terrible'. London, 1994. 

71 The most comprehensive examination of the mistaken identity aspect of the case is in Willem A. Wagenaar, 
Identifying Ivan. A Case Study in Legal Psychology. Hemel Hempsted, 1988. Wagenaar was an expert witness 
for Demjanjuk's defense. 

72 Heinrich Wefing, Der Fall Demjanjuk: der letzte grosse NS-Prozess. Das Leben, der Prozess, das Urteil. 
Munich: Beck, 2011; Angelika Benz, Der Henkersknecht: Der Prozess gegen John (Iwan) Demjanjuk in 
Miinchen, Berlin: Metropol, 2011. 



interviewing survivors and perpetrators. 73 The first such journalistic account, by Jean- 
Francois Steiner, led to a major public controversy in France in the mid-1960s. 74 Survivors of 
the camps also offered their own accounts, producing a series of memoirs and in some cases, 
engaging in their own historical research. 75 Survivors were also responsible for editing two 
important collections of testimonies from Treblinka and Sobibor that appeared in 1979 and 
1980 respectively. 76 Kurt Gerstein, an SS officer who visited Belzec in August 1942 and 
witnessed a gassing, became a kind of icon in postwar West Germany due to the widespread 
dissemination of his eyewitness account and the ambiguity of his role as an SS officer 
responsible for supplying Auschwitz with Zyklon B but who also tried to spread the news of 
extermination. 77 

From an even earlier stage, historians examined the Aktion Reinhard camps both in 
their own right and in the context of other aspects of the Holocaust. Documents were 
uncovered that had remained unknown to the earlier war crimes investigations; contemporary 
sources ranging from diaries and letters to the contents of Jewish underground archives, the 
intelligence reports of the Delegatura and Polish underground newspapers were edited and 
published. Some historians writing on Aktion Reinhard, like Wolfgang Scheffler, had served 
as an expert witness in the West German trials and produced no comprehensive overview. 78 

3 Jean-Francois Steiner, Treblinka, Paris: Librairie Artheme Fayard, 1966; English edition: Simon and 
Schuster, New York 1967; Gitta Sereny, Into That Darkness. New York, 1974; Richard Rashke, Escape from 
Sobibor: The Heroic Story of the Jews Who Escaped a Nazi Death Camp. New York, 1982. The French film- 
maker interviewed Franz Suchomel as well as bystanders and survivors of Treblinka for his documentary 
'Shoa'. See Claude Lanzmann, Shoa, Paris: Editions Fayard, 1985, translated as Shoa, DaCapo Press, New 
York 1995. 

74 Samuel Moyn, A Holocaust Controversy: The Treblinka Affair in Postwar France. Waltham, Mass.: Brandeis 
University Press, 2005. Statements from survivors refuting Steiner's misrepresentations and fictionalisations 
were gathered in Miriam Novitch, La verite sur Treblinka, Paris: Presses du temps present, 1967. 

75 Most notably, Jules Schelvis, Vernichtungslager Sobibor, Berlin: Metropol, 1998 and Hamburg/Munster, 
2003; translated as Sobibor, Oxford: Berg, 2008. 

76 Donat (ed), The Death Camp Treblinka; Miriam Novitch, Sobibor. Martyrdom and Revolt. New York, 1980. 

77 Gerstein's testimony was published numerous times in the 1950s and 1960s, with an introduction by Hans 
Rothfels as 'Augenzeugenbericht zu den Massenvergasungen', VfZ 2, 1953, pp. 177-194 and in the widely- 
disseminated brochure Dokumentation zur Massenvergasung , Bonn, 1962. For other examples of his iconic 
status in West Germany, see IfZ Zs 0326. His international fame was the result of Rolf Hochhuth's 
controversial play Der Stellvertreter (The Deputy) in 1963. For 1960s examinations of Gerstein, see Saul 
Friedlander, Kurt Gerstein ou I'ambigu'ite du bien, Tournai: Casterman, 1967, translated as Counterfeit Nazi: 
the ambiguity of good, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1969; Pierre Joffroy, L'espion de Dieu. La passion de 
Kurt Gerstein, Paris: Robert Laffont, 1969. For modern reexaminations, see Bernd Hey et al, Kurt Gerstein 
(1905 - 1945). Widerstand in SS-Uniform. Bielefeld, 2003; Florent Brayard, 'L'humanite versus zyklon B: 
L'ambiguite du choix de Kurt Gerstein', Vingtieme Siecle. Revue d'histoire, No. 73, Jan. - Mar., 2002, pp. 15-25; 
' "Grasping the Spokes of the Wheel of History". Gerstein, Eichmann and the Genocide of the Jews', History & 
Memory, 20/1, Spring/Summer 2008, pp. 48-88; Valerie Hebert, Kurt Gerstein's Actions and Intentions in the 
Light of Three Postwar Legal Proceedings. MA thesis, McGill University, 1999; idem, 'Disguised Resistance? 
The Story of Kurt Gerstein', HGS 20/1, Spring 2006, pp. 1-33. 

78 Ino Arndt and Wolfgang Scheffler, 'Organisierter Massenmord an Juden in Nationalsozialistische 
Vernichtungslagern', VfZ 2/1976, pp. 105-135; Wolfgang Scheffler, 'Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor und Treblinka' 
in Eberhard Jackel and Jiirgen Rohwehr (eds), Der Mord an den Juden im Zweiten Weltkrieg. EntschluEbildung 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Others, like the Israeli historian Yitzhak Arad, a survivor of the Wilno ghetto and a sometime 
director of Yad Vashem, contributed essays and encyclopedia entries on the Aktion Reinhard 
camps and also produced the first comprehensive monograph of all three camps in 1987. 79 In 
the 1980s, writers and historians such as Ernst Klee, Michael Burleigh and Henry Friedlander 
also explored the connection between the T4 euthanasia program and the Nazi Final 
Solution. 80 A variety of brochures and short books from Polish and German authors and 
historians of varying calibres have appeared in recent decades. 81 Amateur researchers such as 
Michael Tregenza 82 as well as historians working largely outside the academy such as Robin 
O'Neil 83 and Stephen Tyas 84 have played a significant role in discovering new documents or 
researching camps such as Belzec, while the German private researcher Peter Witte has done 
important work on Sobibor and the surrounding context of Aktion Reinhard. 85 

At the same time, professional historians have not remained idle, most notably in 
Poland, where earlier discussions at conferences of the 1980s 86 have given way to a fairly 
systematic research effort. A major conference on 'Aktion Reinhard' was held in the German 
Historical Institute in Warsaw in 2002, with the proceedings published in both German and 

und Verwirklichung, Stuttgart: DVA, 1985, and 'Probleme der Holocaustforschung' in Stefi Jersch-Wenzel 
(eds), Deutsche, Polen, Juden, Berlin: Colloquium- Verlag, 1987, pp. 259-281. 

79 Yitzhak Arad, 'Aktion Reinhard' in: Eugen Kogon, Hermann Langbein and Adalbert Riickerl (eds), 
Nationalsozialistische Massentotungen durch Giftgas, Frankfurt am Main, 1983; "Operation Reinhard": 
Extermination Camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka', Yad Vashem Studies XVI, 1984, pp. 205-239; Belzec, 
Sobibor, Treblinka. The Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987; 
entries on Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka in Israel Gutman (ed), Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, New York: 
Macmillan, 1990. 

80 Ernst Klee, "Euthanasie" im NS-Staat: Die "Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens". Frankfurt: Fischer 
Verlag, 1983; Michael Burleigh, Death and Deliverance. 'Euthanasia' in Germany 1900-1945. Cambridge, 
1994; Henry Friedlander, The Origins of Nazi Genocide. From Euthanasia to the Final Solution. Chapel Hill: 
University of North Carolina Press, 1995. 

81 As the largest of the three camps, Treblinka has been more extensively written up than either Belzec or 
Sobibor. See Janusz Gumkowski and Adam Rutkowski, Treblinka, Warsaw, 1961-2 (editions in Polish, English, 
French, German and other languages); Ryszard Czarkowski, Cieniom Treblinki, Warsaw, 1989; Manfred Burba, 
Treblinka. Ein NS-Vernichtungslager im Rahmen der "Aktion Reinhard", Gbttingen 1995; Witold Chrostowski, 
Extermination Camp Treblinka, London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2004; Ian Baxter, The SS of Treblinka, Stroud: 
The History Press, 2010. On Sobibor see Zbigniew Sulimerski, Sobibor. Hitlerowski Oboz Smierci, Chelm, 

82 Michael Tregenza, 'Christian Wirth: Inspekteur der SS-Sonderkommandos Aktion Reinhard',' Zeszyty 
Majdanka, t.XV, 1993; 'Belzec - Das vergessene Lager des Holocaust' in Irmtrud Wojak and Peter Hayes 
(eds), "Arisierung" im Nationalsozialismus, Volksgemeinschaft, Raub und Geddchtnis. Frankfurt am Main, 
2000; 'Belzec- okres eksperymentalny. Listopad 1941 -kwiecien 1942', Zeszyty Majdanka, t. XXI, 2001. 

83 Robin O'Neil, 'Belzec - the 'Forgotten' death camp', East European Jewish Affairs 28, 1998, pp. 49-69; 
Belzec: Stepping Stone to Genocide. Hitler's Answer to the Final Solution, 2004, online at . 

84 Most notably, by discovering the so-called Hofle telegram giving the 1942 statistics intercepted by Bletchley 
Park in 1943. See Peter Witte and Stephen Tyas, 'A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews 
during 'Einsatz Reinhardt' 1942', HGS 15/3, 2001, pp.468-486. 

85 Witte's assistance is explicitly acknowledged in the work of Jules Schelvis. 

86 Szymon Leczycki, 'Obozy zaglady w Belzcu, Sobiborze i Treblince (Miedzynarodowa konferencja, Lublin 
22-27 VIII 1987)', Panstwo i Prawo 43/2, 1988, pp. 130-1 32; Piotr Madajczyk, Belzec, Sobibor, 'Treblinka 
jako obozy natychmiastowej zaglady', Przeglqd Zachodni 44IH, 1988, p.l91ff. 



Polish in 2004, bringing together articles by Polish, German, Israeli and American historians 
on many aspects of Aktion Reinhard. 87 By the 2000s, biographies and biographical essays on 
key perpetrators within Aktion Reinhard, including Odilo Globocnik 88 , the first commandant 
of Treblinka, Irmfried Eberl 89 , but also more junior SS men 90 , were appearing. The 
publication of the camps encyclopedia Ort des Terrors in the late 2000s combined rather 
insubstantial entries based on secondary literature for Sobibor and Treblinka, written by the 
editors Barbara Distel and Wolfgang Benz, with a thorough description of Belzec written by 
the director of the Belzec Museum, Dr. Robert Kuwalek 91 , whose monograph on Belzec 
appeared in Polish in late 2010. 92 Kuwalek's counterpart at the Sobibor Museum, Marek 
Bern, has recently edited a collection of testimonies in Polish 93 , while Russian researchers 
have produced an oral history of the Sobibor revolt from accounts of Russian survivors. 94 A 
series of articles on the Trawnikis have also appeared in academic journals and edited 
collections, including examinations of the cohort of Trawnikis at Belzec by Dieter Pohl 95 as 
well as studies by David Rich and Peter Black, researchers who work or have worked for the 
OSI and its successor office within the US Department of Justice on Trawniki cases. 96 Work 
has also been done on the memorialisation of the sites, research which has uncovered further 
information about the condition of the sites from 1944 to the erection of memorials from the 

87 Bogdan Musial (ed), "Aktion Reinhardt". Der Volkermord an den Juden im Generalgouvernement 1941- 
1944. Osnabriick: fibre Verlag, 2004; Dariusz Libionka (ed), Akcja Reinhardt. Zaglada Zydow w Generalnym 
Gubernatorstwie. Warsaw: IPN, 2004. 

88 Joseph Poprzeczny, Odilo Globocnik, Hitler's Man in the East. London: McFarland & Company, 2004; 
Berndt Rieger, Creator of Nazi Death Camps. The Life of Odilo Globocnik. London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2007. 

89 Michael Grabher, Irmfried Eberl. ,Euthanasie'-Arzt und Kommandant von Treblinka. Frankfurt am Main: 
Peter Lang, 2006. 

90 Jan H. Fahlbusch, 'Im Zentrum des Massenmordes. Ernst Zierke im Vernichtungslager Belzec', in: Andreas 
Mix (ed), KZ-Verbrechen. Beitrage zur Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager, Berlin: 
Metropol, 2007. 

91 Wolfgang Benz and Barbara Distel (eds), Der Ort des Terrors. Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen 
Konzentrationslager. Band 8: Riga-Kaiserwald, Warschau, Vaivara, Kauen (Kaunas), Plaszow, 
Kulmhof/Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Munich: C.H. Beck, 2008. 

92 Robert Kuwalek, Oboz zaglady w Belzcu. Lublin: Wydawnictwo Panstwowe Muzeum na Majdanku, 2010. 

93 Marek Bern (ed), Sobibor. Warsaw: Osrodek Karta. Dom Spotkan z Historia, 2010. 

94 S.S. Vilenskii, F,B. Gorbovitskii, L.A. Tyorushkin (eds), Sobibor, Vosstanie v lagere smerti. Moscow: 
Vozvrashchenie, 2010. 

95 Dieter Pohl, 'Die Trawniki-Manner im Vernichtungslager Belzec 1941-1943,' in Alfred Gottwaldt, Norbert 
Kampe and Peter Klein (eds), NS-Gewaltherrschaft: Beitrage zur historischen Forschung und juristischen 
Aufarbeitung. Berlin: Edition Heinrich, 2005, pp. 278-89. 

96 David A. Rich, 'Reinhard's Foot Soldiers: Soviet Trophy Documents and Investigative Records as Sources', 
in: John K. Roth & Elizabeth Maxwell (eds), Remembering for the Future: the Holocaust in an Age of 
Genocide, Vol. 1 (History), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001, pp. 688-701; Peter Black, 'Die Trawniki 
Manner und die 'Aktion Reinhard',' in Musial (ed), Aktion Reinhard, pp. 309-52, expanded in English as 'Foot 
Soldiers of the Final Solution: The Trawniki Training Camp and Operation Reinhard', HGS 25/1, 2011, pp. 1-99. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

1960s onwards. 97 Finally, in the late 1990s and 2000s, archaeologists, most notably Andrzej 
Kola, have examined the sites of Belzec 98 and Sobibor 99 and provided much more 
information than had been possible with 1940s techniques and the limited resources of 
devastated postwar Poland, especially on the size and shape of the mass graves, using 
techniques such as aerial photography and bore-probes. Further archaeological work is 
planned for Treblinka. 100 

The question "how do we know about Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka?" is thus 
answered: from a variety of investigations. Some have been legal, some have been what the 
Russians call "medico-legal", i.e. forensic; some archaeological; some journalistic; many 
historical. Accumulating over time, our knowledge and understanding of the three camps - 
just as with any historical event - has deepened and been refined progressively. Moreover, 
this process will not stop any time soon. Quite aside from the prospect of further 
archaeological research, historians of the Holocaust are exceedingly unlikely to leave the 
subject of the Aktion Reinhard camps alone. The results of the past two decades of research, 
especially since the end of the Cold War and the opening up of archives in Eastern Europe, 
have accumulated faster than they can be synthesised into a single work. The time is ripe for 
a comprehensive monograph on the Aktion Reinhard camps, since our understanding of both 
the camps themselves as well as their context has changed considerably in the last quarter- 
century. 101 One or more will undoubtedly be written within the next five to ten years. 
Bemoaning its absence today would be to commit the single-study fallacy, and to ignore how 
the exact same issue confronts virtually every topic. Research is ultimately no different to 
painting the proverbial Forth Bridge: as soon as you have completed one coat, you have to do 
it all over again. 

97 Martyna Rusiniak, Oboz zaglady Treblinka II w pamieci spolecznej (1943-1989). Warsaw, 2008; cf. also 
Barbara Buntman, 'Tourism and Tragedy: The Memorial at Belzec, Poland', International Journal of Heritage 
Studies 14/5, 2008, pp. 422-448. 

Andrzej Kola, Belzec: the Nazi Camp for Jews in Light of Archaeological Sources: Excavations 1997-1999, 
Warsaw and Washington: The Council for the Protection of Memory of Combat and Martyrdom and the United 
States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2000. 

99 Andrzej Kola, 'Badania archeologiczne terenu bylego obozu zaglady Zydow w Sobiborze', Przeszlosc i 
Pamiec. Biuletyn Rady Ochroni Pamieci Walk i Meczehstwa, 4, 2001, pp. 115-122; Isaac Gilead, Yoram Haimi, 
Wojciech Mazurek, 'Excavating Nazi Extermination Centres', Present Pasts, 1, 2009, pp. 10-39. Further 
excavations at Sobibor have been undertaken since the archaeological work written up in these publications was 
completed, both by the Gilead-Haimi-Mazurek team and by the director of the Sobibor Museum, Marek Bern. 

100 By Caroline Sturdy Colls, Birmingham: . 

101 Dieter Pohl, 'Massentotungen durch Giftgas im Rahmen der "Aktion Reinhardt". Aufgaben der Forschung,' 
in Giinter Morsch, Bertrand Perz, Astrid Ley (eds), Neue Studien zu nationalsozialistischen Massentotungen 
durch Giftgas. Historische Bedeutung, technische Entwicklung, revisionistische Leugnung. Berlin: Metropol, 
2011, pp.185-195. 




The achievements of historians, journalists and judicial investigators in reconstructing events 
at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka are all the greater because of the extensive destruction of 
documents by the Nazis, the dismantling of the camps and attempted erasure of the crimes, 
and the small number of survivors who escaped the camps and lived to testify. In the case of 
the Aktion Reinhard camps, the destruction of files is a documented fact, as we know from 
Odilo Globocnik's final report on Aktion Reinhard to Heinrich Himmler. 102 The obliteration 
of records extends to many institutions who took part in Aktion Reinhard by organising 
deportations to the camps. Of more than 100 police battalions formed in the Second World 
War by Nazi Germany, there are extant war diaries for only a handful. 

Nonetheless, historians and other investigators have been able to piece together the 
course of events from a wide variety of sources, and this critique has endeavoured to use as 
many as possible. Just as with the literature cited in what follows, the sources used in this 
critique were examined by several of the authors over a period of many years, largely while 
researching other, more conventional scholarly projects. By contrast, MGK's knowledge and 
use of the potentially available sources leaves much to be desired, and as will be shown 
repeatedly in what follows, their 'trilogy' largely consists of a string of omissions. 

Although Holocaust deniers have frequently sought to cast doubt on the integrity of 
the documents submitted to the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg as well as the 
twelve successor trials, and many have tried to claim that key documents in these collections 
are forgeries 103 , it is striking that MGK make extensive use of the Nuremberg documents in 
their work. We have likewise made use of Nuremberg documents, both from their published 
versions 104 and from unpublished copies held at the Imperial War Museum annex in Duxford, 
Cambridgeshire as well as the US National Archives in College Park, MD. Additional 
examples can also be found online on websites such as the Harvard Law School Library 
Nuremberg Trials project. 105 

102 Globocnik an Himmler, 5.1.1944, 4024-PS, IMT XXXIV, p.71. 

103 Most notably, Carlos W. Porter, Made in Russia: The Holocaust, Uckfield: Historical Review Press, 1988; 
updated online version . 

104 Namely, the 'Blue' Series of 42 volumes of the proceedings of the International Military Tribunal, or main 
Nuremberg Trial, with English language transcript and documents mostly in the original language, cited in this 
critique as IMT; the 'Red Series' of 11 volumes of Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, cited as NCA, offering 
English translations of documents submitted as well as unused at IMT; and the 'Green' Series of 15 volumes 
presenting excerpts from the 12 US National Military Tribunal 'successor trials', cited as NMT. Scanned PDF 
copies of all three series can be downloaded from the Library of Congress' Military Legal Resources section at Law/Nuremberg trials.html . 

105 swi.php?DI=l&text=overview . 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Many documents submitted at the 13 Nuremberg trials were resubmitted in evidence 
at the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem, along with other documents identified and 
copied from a variety of archives by the Israeli prosecution, in all nearly 1,500 documents. 106 
While a copy of the transcript has been available on the Nizkor website for many years 107 , it 
is only recently that the Israeli Ministry of Justice scanned and uploaded copies of almost all 
of the documents to its website. 108 Hitherto, copies of the microfiched documents were the 
preserve of larger libraries or research archives such as the United States Holocaust Memorial 
Museum. Together with the Nuremberg documents, the Eichmann trial documents can be 
considered part of the basic knowledge that serious researchers of the Holocaust must 
master. 109 Since Mattogno makes use of the Eichmann trial as well as the Nuremberg 
documents, we presume that there need be no dispute that they are genuine, and will thus 
ignore one of the more familiar trolling routines used by deniers online. 

As serious researchers know, the originals of the Nuremberg documents were for the 
most part reintegrated into the respective document collections, microfilmed by the US 
National Archives and Record Administration, and then restituted to the Federal Republic of 
Germany from the 1950s onwards, where they were archived in the Bundesarchiv in 
Koblenz, since moved to Berlin-Lichterfelde, the Bundesarchiv-Militararchiv in Freiburg, 
and the Foreign Office archive (Politische Archiv des Auswartigen Amtes) in Berlin. 110 Both 
the Captured German Documents collection at NARA 111 as well as the restituted files in the 
German archives have provided several generations of historians with literally decades of 
research, yet curiously MGK have virtually ignored these collections, citing from just three 
files from the Bundesarchiv and Foreign Office archive, a number so low that the suspicion is 
created that they - or rather Mattogno, who it is that cites these files - simply plundered the 
references from a secondary source, or were mailed a photocopy by Udo Walendy some time 
back in the day, without ever having seen the document in its original file context. 

Our research using the Bundesarchiv and NARA files was first conducted for 
scholarly projects mainly on the Holocaust in the Soviet Union as well as Nazi occupation 

106 State of Israel, Ministry of Justice, The Trial of Adolf Eichmann. Record of Proceedings in the District Court 
of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 1993, 7 volumes. 

107 http://nizkor.Org/hweb/people/e/eichmann-adolf/transcripts/ . 

108 . 

109 Nuremberg and Eichmann trial documents are cited by code number, thus for IMT documents -PS, EC-, LO 
R-, RF-, and USSR-; for NMT documents NO-, NG-, NI-, NOKW-; and for Eichmann trial documents TV- . 

110 For an overview of this prorcess, see Josef Henke, 'Das Schicksal deutscher zeitgeschichtlicher Quellen in 
Kriegs- und Nachkriegszeit. Beschlagnahme - Riickfiihrung - Verbleib', Vierteljahrshefte fur Zeitgeschichte, 
30. Jahrg., 4. H. (Oct., 1982), pp. 557-620. 

111 RG 242; cited as NARA T-collection/microfilm roll number/frame. 



policy in the Soviet Union, subjects which MGK purport to master when they advance their 
'resettlement thesis'. Yet from a very early stage of his research, one of the authors of this 
critique began collecting documents relating to the Holocaust in Poland 'en passant', often 
because the relevant files were adjacent, or documents could be found in the same files. More 
recently, files relevant to the Holocaust in Poland have been sought out over the course of 
multiple research trips to Berlin and Washington, DC, 112 along with the personnel files of SS 
officers from the Berlin Document Center collection. Originally administered by the US 
Army in Berlin, the collections have since been restituted to reunified Germany, after the 
entire collection was microfilmed for the US National Archives. 113 Other than quoting 
indirectly from a tiny handful of documents from these personnel files transcribed in 
published primary source collections, MGK have totally ignored the crucial BDC files. 

We do not pretend to have exhausted all the research possibilities offered by the BDC, 
Bundesarchiv or NARA and believe that although the primary collections of captured Nazi 
documents are very well known to professional historians, new connections and links will 
continue to be made as these files are examined and re-examined. The same can also be said 
for the records of West German war crimes trials used in this critique. These trial sources can 
be divided into several categories. Of central significance for any study of Belzec, Sobibor 
and Treblinka are the pre-trial investigations opened up by the Zentrale Stelle at Ludwigsburg 
into the three camps directly. 114 From what we can discern, MGK have hitherto cited only 
from the investigation of Josef Oberhauser in connection with Belzec, and rely exclusively on 
citations from secondary sources for their knowledge of the investigations into Sobibor and 
Treblinka. 115 The following critique cites from all of these investigations, utilising an 
extensive collection of copies made available privately to one of the authors as well as from 
copies made available by Jules Schelvis, whose research files have been archived at the 
Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, and which have been recently scanned and 
put online. 116 Schelvis' research files contain not only copies from the Ludwigsburg 
investigations, but also from many of the trial proceedings archived in State Attorney's 

112 Although original files at the Bundesarchiv were consulted, the USHMM holds microfiche copies of many 
Bundesarchiv collections, while the same documents are of course microfilmed in the NARA collections, and 
copied in the Nuremberg and Eichmann trial documents, with the result that some documents have been seen by 
the authors five or six times in different locations. 

113 Copies were consulted in NARA and are cited as NARA-BDC, SS-OA (Offiziersakte), name of officer. 

114 Now the Bundesarchiv Ludwigsburg, cited as BAL. 

115 Mattogno has also used a few stray citations from euthanasia investigations. 

116 NIOD 804, at the time of writing accessible at . 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

offices and State archives across Germany. 117 We presume that since the publication of the 
English-language edition of Sobibor last summer, MGK may well have become aware of this 
online source collection, but we have the sad duty to inform them of more bad news, which is 
that SS men, Trawnikis and survivors of the Aktion Reinhard camps also gave evidence in 
the course of many other investigations and trials archived in Ludwigsburg or regionally, 
including the investigation and trial of Karl Streibel, commandant of Trawniki; of Ludwig 
Hahn, the Commander of Security Police (Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei, KdS) in 
Warsaw; and of many other key officers involved in Aktion Reinhard. Although one of the 
authors of the critique is currently researching these trials for serious scholarly purposes, we 
have not included even a fraction of the total potential evidence that is available from these 
cases, and have restricted ourselves to citing a few sources to refute MGK on specific points 
or to demonstrate the breadth and range of this material. 

To the extent that Mattogno and Graf have made any kind of name for themselves in 
the negationist community, it is because of their research trips to East European archives, 
most especially the former 'Special Archive' 118 and State Archive of the Russian 
Federation 119 in Moscow, searching out materials on Auschwitz, in particular the massive 
collection of files of the Auschwitz Central Construction Office (Zentralbauleitung, ZBL). It 
is quite apparent that whatever files they cite from Polish and Russian archives have been 
largely scraped together from brief moments on research trips for other purposes. Indeed, of 
the non-judicial files cited across the 'trilogy', 11 relate to Auschwitz while 7 relate to other 
concentration camps, leaving only 7 that ostensibly relate directly to Belzec or Treblinka 
along with 18 to the Galicia and Lublin districts and 4 to the Lodz ghetto. 11 more files from 
the Moscow archives are quoted in relation to the Holocaust in the Soviet Union, while one 
file purportedly cited from the National Archives of Belarus is seemingly plagiarised from 
secondary sources. 120 

Measured against the research efforts of serious historians, all these figures are risible. 
We see no reason why any rational person would prefer to take seriously the word of 
Mattogno on a subject like the Lodz ghetto when he has across all his writings cited from 

117 Most often denoted as StA for Staastanwaltschaft or Staatsarchiv. 

118 Now RGVA. 

119 GARF. 

120 NARB 378-1-784. This file was quoted wrongly in the first edition of M&G, Treblinka, p.200. Soviet 
archives organised files according to fond (collection), opis (finding guide), and delo (file), which can be cited 
either as f.378, o.l, d.784, the standard mode of citation for Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian historians, or as 
378-1-784, more commonly used by western historiasn. Like MGK we have used the latter mode of citation in 
this critique. 



seemingly only 8 files 121 , whereas there are several monographs on the same topic. Nor 
would any rational person think that Mattogno had grasped the context of the Holocaust in 
the Galicia or Lublin districts better than the numerous researchers who have systematically 
surveyed all the relevant files and woven them into a coherent narrative. 

Our own research into the materials from East European archives have included 
research trips to some of the relevant archives as well as the exploitation of the remarkable 
collection of microfilmed and microfiched copies available at the United States Holocaust 
Memorial Museum. The sources consulted include among other collections, files of the 
Soviet Extraordinary State Commission investigations into several of the Aktion Reinhard 
camps, as well as copies of Red Army investigative reports from the Russian military archive 
at Podolsk. Of particular significance and importance to the subject of this critique are 
materials from a variety of archives relating to the Trawniki men. These include 
contemporary personnel records and related German documents as well as the proceedings of 
several hundred postwar Soviet investigations and trials of Trawnikis serving at Belzec, 
Sobibor and Treblinka as well as other stations in the Lublin district. Among the most 
important collections are copies of trials from the archives of the Ukrainian SBU 122 , which 
inherited the Soviet-era records after the collapse of communism in 1991 and which are now 
available on microfilm at USHMM. As with the records of West German war crimes 
investigations and trials, these sources are being examined in the course of conventional 
scholarly research conducted by one of the authors of this critique, and only a tiny fraction of 
the total volume of such evidence is included here. 

It is striking that in all of their work, MGK consistently act as if the only source that 
can be considered a 'document' is a German report. Yet such an attitude is quite frankly the 
purest gibberish when measured against all known standard practices of historical scholarship 
ever since they were codified in the 19 th Century. Rankeanism has only one rule, namely to 
prefer where possible a source that is closer to the events, either in terms of chronology or 
proximity. Medievalists, after all, are often forced to rely on sources from long after the fact, 
written down by commentators who were nowhere near the events they describe. Military 
historians do not have a problem in making use of the records of both sides in a war or 
conflict. Many historians of the Holocaust have since the 1940s made good use of non- 
German contemporary documents, most especially the written records of Jewish councils and 

121 Counting across Carlo Mattogno, Chelmno: A German Camp in History and Propaganda. Washington, D.C: 
Barnes Review, 2011; Carlo Mattogno, "Das Ghetto von Lodz in der Holocaust-Propaganda," Vierteljahres fur 
freie Geschichtsforschung , 7/1 (2003), pp. 30-36. 

122 Cited as Archive of the SBU (ASBU) for the relevant oblast, eg ASBU Dnepropetrovsk. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

the Polish underground. Such sources are indisputably documents, and we have made use of 
some of them in what follows. The majority come from published primary source collections, 
which now include extensive series of publications of materials from the archives of the 
Polish Delegatura as well as the Oneg Shabes or Ringelblum archive, but also now such 
things as translations of the records of the Bialystok Jewish Council. We have also made use 
of a number of files from the Public Record Office in Kew, London, including not only some 
wartime reports from occupied Poland, but also the important collection of the so-called 
Police Decodes, German signals traffic intercepted and decoded by Bletchley Park. A small 
number of unpublished sources from the Polish underground have also been utilised, along 
with a variety of contemporary printed sources. 

In such a well-researched field as the history of the Holocaust, it is of course 
unsurprising that researchers can rely on several generations' worth of published primary 
sources, including collections of documents, testimonies, letters and diaries. MGK, too, make 
use of such published sources, but the number of omissions is striking. Like serious 
historians, Mattogno for example makes extensive use of well-known published documentary 
collections such as the 1946 volume 'Akcje i wysiedlenia' or the 1960 collection Faschismus- 
Getto-Massenmord, published by the Central Jewish Historical Commission and its 
successor, the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland, respectively. 123 Strangely absent, 
however, are such important published sources as the Goebbels diaries or Himmler's 
appointments diary for 1941/42, while absolutely vital sources such as the published minutes 
of conferences in Hans Frank's Generalgouvernement administration are almost entirely 
omitted, especially for the crucial years of 1942-3. 

The published memoirs of survivors of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka must also be 
considered primary sources, and both MGK as well as ourselves have unsurprisingly referred 
to them. However, we note with bemusement that their need to cite from memoirs is perhaps 
greater than ours, especially in their desperate attempt to scratch out any evidence for their 
resettlement thesis by quote-mining eyewitness accounts. Virtually all the memoirists left 
earlier accounts, whether in yizkor (memorial) books, postwar investigations or in trials, and 
thus we have regarded memoirs as simply another source alongside these. Since Mattogno 
and Graf began writing on the Aktion Reinhard camps in 2002, a number of memoirs have 

Jozef Kermisz (ed), Dokumenty i Materialy do dziejow okupacji niemieckiej w Polce, Vol. II: "Akcje" i 
"Wysiedlenia" , Warsaw-Lodz-Krakow 1946; Tatjana Berenstein et al (eds), Faschismus - Getto - Massenmord. 
Dokumentation iiber Ausrottung und Widerstand der Juden in Polen wahrend des Zweiten Weltkrieges. 
Frankfurt am Main, 1961. Together, these two volumes provide 24 out of 140 references for Chapter 8 of M&G, 
Treblinka (two are improperly credited). 



been published, either from manuscripts written earlier or as the final accounts of the 
survivors offered in the twilight of their lives. This has generated the amusing spectacle of 
M&G's younger colleague Thomas Kues frantically penning a series of 'reviews' of the 
newly appeared memoirs, always analysing them in virtually splendid isolation and often 
contrasting them against a strawman version of the history of the three camps. 124 Although 
several more recent memoirs are analysed in Sobibor 125 , unfortunately there are still more 
than have appeared which have gone uncommented by MGK 126 , an observation which can 
also be made about several recent works which republish obscure testimonies from Aktion 
Reinhard camp survivors 127 or which analyse similarly obscure testimonies from yizkor 
books. 128 

Our approach to the sources, as will be seen in the forthcoming chapters of this 
critique, is undoubtedly diametrically opposed to the method, if it can be called that, used by 
MGK in either gathering or analysing sources. The preceding review of sources has made 
little distinction between documents and eyewitness testimonies, because from a research 
perspective there is none; both are encountered in archival files, and any historian who still 
possesses a shred of their sanity is not going to ignore several thousand pages of material 
which might be found in a single postwar investigation. This does not mean, of course, that 
when weighing and evaluating sources, we ignore the differences between types of sources; it 
does mean, however, that we refuse to fetishise certain types of source over others. 

In our experience, debates with Holocaust deniers invariably involve a combination of 
rhetorical strategies whereby a denier will find a nit to pick in a witness testimony, then be 
corrected, then suddenly demand a "document", as if history could ever be made to vanish 
into a puff of smoke because a particular type of source was missing; and then when 
corrected again will bring out the argument of last resort, and start demanding "physical 
evidence." The sorry spectacle thus inevitably ends with the denier moaning "mass graves, 
mass graves" over and over, as if they in the grip of a particularly tedious form of Tourette's 

124 Israel Cymlich and Oskar Strawczynski, Escaping Hell in Treblinka. New York: Yad Vashem and the 
Holocaust Survivors' Memoirs Project, 2007; Chil Rajchman, Je suis le dernier Juif. Treblinka (1942-1943). 
Paris, 2009; see Thomas Kues, 'Chil Rajchman's Treblinka Memoirs', Inconvenient History 2/1. 

125 E.g. Kalmen Wewryk, To Sobibor and Back: an Eyewitness Account. Wlodawa, Muzeum Pojezierza 
L^czynsko Wlodawkiego, 2008; Dov Ber Freiberg, To Survive Sobibor, Lynnbrook, NY: Gefen Books, 2007. 

126 Philip and Joseph Bialowitz, Bunt w Sobiborze. Warsaw: Wydanictwo 'Nasza Ksiegarnia', 2008. 

127 Mark S. Smith, Treblinka Survivor. The Life and Death ofHershl Sperling. Stroud: The History Press, 2010. 

128 Yoram Lubling, Twice-dead. Moshe Y. Lubling, the Ethics of Memory, and the Treblinka Revolt. New York: 
Peter Lang, 2007. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Leaving aside the shocking ineffectiveness of such a rhetorical strategy - because of 
the immense ennui it causes when the denier goes into autorepeat - this negationist approach 
to evidence, namely to refuse to consider the sum total of evidence together, is not only 
nowhere to be found in any known methodology or philosophical consideration of evidence, 
but also expects the mark targeted for Revisionist rhetorical persuasion to forget all the 
evidence they might ever have come across when reading about the subject. For many of us, 
it would be extraordinarily difficult to forget Stangl's confessions or the filmed admissions of 
Suchomel, so naturally we take them into consideration even when the negationist insists on 
repeating, over and over, that there is "no document" which might "prove" gas chambers at 
Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. Well, duh. The files went up in smoke. 

It is our contention in this critique that such a hyperpositivist demand is intellectually 
bogus, and reverses the normal chain of reasoning from the general to the particular. Indeed, 
one can quite easily invoke the much-vaunted Revisionist "hierarchy of evidence" 129 to 
demonstrate this point with a simple thought experiment: would the world regard Belzec, 
Sobibor and Treblinka as Nazi extermination camps where hundreds of thousands of Jews 
were murdered if there were no surviving witnesses? The answer is an unequivocal yes. We 
possess more than sufficient evidence from German documents to indicate that large numbers 
of Jews were deported to the camps, that the Nazis in the Generalgouvernement were 
exterminating the Jews, and essentially no evidence to suggest that large numbers of Jews 
came out of the camps. Add in the physical evidence of the condition of the sites after 
liberation, with their vast piles of ash and cremains, as well as the results of archaeology 
since then, and the conclusion any normal person would reach by common-sense inference is 
inescapable. By analogy with other documented Nazi killing sites, as well as the documented 
involvement of the mass murder experts from T4 in Aktion Reinhard, the rational observer 
would even be able to conclude - from the German documents alone - that gas was the most 
probable method. Such a conclusion would harden into a greater certainty when the evidence 
of contemporary documents from Polish and Jewish sources is taken into consideration. 

Far from relying "exclusively on eyewitness testimonies" 130 , the acceptance of mass 
murder at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka by everyone other than the tiny minority of 

129 Germar Rudolf, Lectures on the Holocaust. Controversial Issues Cross Examined, Chicago: Theses and 
Dissertations Press, 2005, pp. 190-2, also repeated in the 2 n edition (Washington, DC: The Barnes Review, 
2010), pp. 134-8; Jiirgen Graf and Carlo Mattogno, Concentration Camp Majdanek: A Historical Technical 
Study, Chicago: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2003, p. 239. 

130 This is a kind of incessant refrain in the 'trilogy': cf. Carlo Mattogno and Jiirgen Graf, Treblinka: 
Extermination Camp or Transit Camp?, Chicago: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2004, pp.19, 34, 164, 299; 



negationists is very much grounded in the reasoning outlined above. That the eyewitnesses 
might disagree over the exact make and type of the engine is quite frankly irrelevant when set 
against the totality of the documentary and physical evidence. In the game of scissors, paper 
and stone deniers want to play, errors in witness evidence cannot be used to refute 
documents, but this is seemingly the reasoning they want us to follow. 

Nor do we accept the piecemeal isolation of evidence that passes for MGK's method 
of source criticism. In our experience, online denier trolls are largely incapable of discussing 
more than one piece of evidence at a time. MGK may object to this remark on the grounds 
that they are not Greg Gerdes, but on closer inspection their oeuvre largely disintegrates into 
a series of decontextualised misreadings of individual sources ripped out of their context by 
omitting or ignoring other pieces of evidence that confirm, corroborate or converge with the 
source in question. The ultimate test for any piece of historical evidence, in our opinion, is 
whether it can be used to construct a historical narrative or historical explanation. A simple 
litmus test for any claim about the past (whether 9/11, the Cold War, the Nazis, Holocaust or 
anything else doesn't matter) is whether the claim can be presented in narrative form, telling 
a coherent story which utilises as much of the available evidence as possible. In this regard, 
MGK's approach is a miserable failure, as none of their works are written in anything like 
conventional narrative form, and not infrequently violate simple chronological order in order 
to construct their attempt at a counternarrative. We do not doubt that MGK believe they are 
presenting a story of some kind, but we will cast more than severe doubt on their ability to 
justify their story in the chapters that follow this introduction. 

Structure of the Critique 

Our structure is the opposite of MGK's. Whereas they begin with minutiae and nitpicks and 
only discuss 'the big picture' (policy) in the latter phases of each book, we follow the only 
logical and acceptable academic convention, which is to start with overall context before 
analyzing the camp structures and killing methods. This context fills chapters 1-4 of the 
work, which establish overwhelming proof of decisions to exterminate Jews before we even 
move inside the camps proper. This proof would exist independently of the perpetrator, 
survivor and bystander witnesses that we present in chapters 5-8; but those witnesses would 
also constitute independent proof by themselves, because there is simply no possibility that 
any power could ever co-ordinate so many testimonies across so many times and places 

Carlo Mattogno, Belzec in Propaganda, Testimonies, Archeological Research, and History, Chicago: Theses & 
Dissertations Press, 2004, pp.69, 94; MGK, Sobibor, pp. 22, 39, 76, 177, 289, 392. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

whilst silencing all those who would have witnessed resettlement or who would have 
participated in the hoax that is integral to all denier arguments. 

The detailed structure develops as follows. Chapter 1, written by Nick Terry, 
examines the failure of MGK to come to grips with the 'discovery process'; that is, the 
process by which Aktion Reinhard became known to the outside world. We show how MGK 
are unable or unwilling to comprehend how wartime knowledge was acquired and 
disseminated, and how the crimes were investigated and prosecuted after the war. Chapter 2, 
by Jonathan Harrison, discusses MGK's unwillingness to confront the gradual radicalization 
of Nazi policy from March 1941 to July 1942, which they evade by turning historians of the 
process into strawmen and by imposing nonsensical thresholds, such as the insistence that a 
final, inflexible Hitler decision to kill all Jews (fit and unfit) must be proven to have been 
made by the end of September 1941 with no allowance for radicalization thereafter. 

Nick Terry's chapter 3 places the history of Aktion Reinhard into the context of Nazi 
policy in Poland and shows how and why the Lublin region was finally chosen as the region 
in which so many Jews would be killed. It exposes MGK's manipulation and 
incomprehension of documents relating to the evolution of the program. Chapter 4, primarily 
written by Jason Myers, demonstrates that Jews could not have been resettled in the East by 
showing the economic and political realities that pertained in the Nazi-occupied USSR. It 
also exposes MGK's double-standards of evidence, as they rely on hearsay witnesses who 
come from the same survivor population whose testimonies MGK dismiss when they 
describe extermination. Jonathan Harrison contributes a section on the Ostland that 
demonstrates the ignorance of Kues about that region's demographics and documentation. 
Sergey Romanov contributes the internal Soviet statistics about the GULAG camps and so- 
called special settlements, which shows that USSR did not hide hundreds of thousands 
foreign Jews during or after the war. 

Chapters 5-8 move to the insides of the camps and the witness accounts that describe 
them. In chapters 5 and 6, on gas chambers and camp witnesses respectively, Jason Myers 
shows how perpetrators closest to the action usually gave the most detailed accounts, and this 
was notable in how their trials were structured. For example, Erich Fuchs was charged with 
actually operating the murder weapon. It is therefore absurd to play off his testimony against 
that of a hearsay 'steam chamber' witness, as if their evidential value were the same. The 
chapter shows convergences and how these clearly over-ride the nitpicking of MGK over 
minutiae. The fact that Bauer and Fuchs described an engine as the murder weapon clearly 
matters far more than whether one or other could not accurately recall, over 20 years after the 



event, every minor detail of the crime scene. The latter would require far more accuracy of 
memory than is ever likely to occur in a trial held two decades after a crime. Chapters 5 and 6 
also have material contributed by Nick Terry and Sergey Romanov which reveals that there 
are many witnesses that MGK have never discussed. 131 Furthermore, there are perpetrators 
who gave detailed accounts while living in freedom: Eichmann in Argentina; Rauff in 
Santiago; Suchomel, Hodl and Gomerski after their release. Again, we would ask any rational 
person to consider the possibility that all of these would have colluded in a hoax, or given 
such testimony unless it was true. 

In Chapter 7, Roberto Muehlenkamp presents the known forensic and archaeological 
evidence about the mass graves and refutes the related arguments of Mattogno, Graf and 
Kues, especially their attempts to make believe that the graves are not compatible with or do 
not necessarily indicate large-scale mass murder. Chapter 8, also by Roberto Muehlenkamp, 
is dedicated to deconstructing MGK's farcical claims that cremating the murdered victims' 
bodies at the Nazi extermination camps would have been an impracticable undertaking as 
concerns fuel requirements, cremation time and disposal of cremation remains. 

The drafting and redrafting of chapters was a collaborative effort, so each author had 
some input into most chapters, even if only a few sentences and footnotes. We take collective 
responsibility for any errors, which we will endeavour to correct both in the blog and in any 
future editions of this text. While each of the authors has been studying Aktion Reinhard for 
several years (mostly for longer than Kues has been doing), this critique has been written 
without pay in our spare time during evenings, weekends and vacations. None of us has ever 
been paid for our activities, and we have not employed professional editors and proof- 

In addition, we have had to co-ordinate our drafting across long distance and to 
negotiate stylistic differences. Two of us live in the USA (one a native, the other an 
immigrant from the UK); one of us lives in England, one Portugal and one in Russia. Two of 
us use English as our second or third language, and there are notable differences between 
British and American spelling, punctuation and usage. Not all these differences can be easily 
eliminated. 132 

131 We have cited from interrogations in German, Polish and Russian. The original language can be 
distinguished as follows: Vernehmung or Vernehmungsprotokoll for German, Protokol for Polish, and Protokol 
doprosa for Russian. 

132 For instance, several different editions of Schelvis' work on Sobibor and Hilberg's foundational work on the 
Holocaust have been used across this critique. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

This study is therefore necessarily a 'white paper' with rough edges. We anticipate 
that some of the feedback we receive from readers will recommend the fixing of various 
typos and stylistic inconsistencies that inevitably infiltrate a 'first version' of this kind of 
work. We would note that MGK's texts are often error-prone, even though they use fewer 
sources than we have done, so we make no apology for publishing a critique that is unlikely 
to be totally error-free. We do, however, undertake to respond to reader queries, advice and 
corrections, albeit on a timescale of our choosing. 

Of course, some of that 'advice' will come from deniers and will be made in bad faith. 
Given that deniers seem incapable of reading a book from front to back, we anticipate that 
many denier readers will start with the gas chamber chapter and then respond with personal 
incredulity. They will ignore the long sections on discovery and wartime knowledge (chapter 
1), overwhelming proof of extermination decisions (chapter 2) and the twisted road to Belzec 
(chapter 3). They will refuse to accept any burden of proof to show that there was a hoax 
(chapter 1) or to show systematic evidence of resettlement, not the cherrypicked hearsay crap 
that Kues hypocritically parades as evidence (chapter 4). All these things would be mistakes. 
The critique is intended to be read as a whole, and the arguments advanced in each chapter 
have not been put forward independently of each other. 

We also hope that this critique will be of value to those interested in the Aktion 
Reinhard camps and the Holocaust more generally, rather than in the often narrow pseudo- 
debate conjured up by Holocaust deniers. Although this work is not a comprehensive history 
of the Aktion Reinhard camps, we believe that general as well as specialist readers will find 
much of interest in these pages. 

No serious scholarly project is ever completed without help from others, and our 
critique is no exception. For regular active assistance throughout this project, we thank David 
Woolfe, Mike Curtis, Dr. Andrew Mathis, and Dr. Joachim Neander. For translating and 
clarifying Brazilian sources on Gustav Wagner's arrest, we thank Roberto Lucena. For 
pseudonymous aid and advice, the kibitzers KentFord9, Hans, bluespaceoddity, Dogsmilk 
and nexgen586 were invaluable to us. Pooshoodog provided the crucial ammunition of 
humour when we finally lost patience with denier trolling at RODOH. Special thanks are also 
due to Peter Laponder for making available copies of his maps of the Reinhard camps for use 
in this study. For answering queries and assistance with materials, we thank Steve Tyas, 
Jiirgen Langowski, Albrecht Kolthoff, Christian Mentel, Harry Mazal, Professor John 
Zimmerman, Dr. David Rich, Professor Andrzej Gawryszewski, Professor Christopher 
Browning, Dr. Martin Dean, Dr. Michael Gelb, Professor Antony Polonsky, Andrea Simon, 



the JDC Archives Section, Martin Davidson, Dr. Philip Blood, and Leonid Tyorushkin of the 
Holocaust Foundation, Moscow. Although we have greatly valued all of these individuals' 
assistance, none of them are responsible for the interpretations and arguments we advance in 
these pages, or any errors that may be present. For all of those, the authors of the critique take 
full responsibility. 


Chapter 1 

The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

From its inception, Holocaust Revisionism has repeatedly asserted that we have been lied to 
about the fate of Europe's Jews at the hands of the Nazis. However much it might be denied 
by some contemporary negationists, Holocaust denial is unthinkable without some form of 
conspiracy theory. Indeed, the popularity of the term 'holohoax', coined by the sometime 
Liberty Lobby associate Revilo P. Oliver, among present-day deniers on the internet is a 
striking illustration of this. Without a conspiracy, there would be no hare to chase for many 
Revisionists. Moreover, it is virtually impossible to find a major negationist author who does 
not at some point advance a claim of fabrication, manipulation, coercion or some other form 
of skulduggery. 

And yet it is truly shocking to discover how poorly thought out and how feebly 
substantiated these claims have been. If one re-reads the texts of the first generation of 
Revisionist authors, one encounters a veritable cacophony of finger-pointing, as different 
suspects are blamed for starting 'the Hoax'. For Paul Rassinier and his epigones/plagiarists 
David Hoggan and Richard Harwood, the man to blame for it all was Raphael Lemkin, the 
legal scholar who coined the term genocide, who was supposedly 'the first' to charge that the 
Nazis had exterminated the Jews in gas chambers in 1943, a conclusion Rassinier reached 
after supposedly 'fifteen years of research' 1 , while a conversation with a 'university 
professor' from the Allied side fabricated by Friedrich Grimm was enough to allow nearly a 
dozen negationists to point the finger at British propaganda expert Sefton Delmer. 2 For 
Arthur Butz, meanwhile, the 'Hoax' was the work of "New York Zionists" 3 , based no doubt 
on the fact that Butz did not search much further than the pages of the New York Times for his 

1 Paul Rassinier, Le Drame desjuifs europeens, Paris: Les Sept Couleurs, 1964, p. 107; David Hoggan, The Myth 
of the Six Million, Los Angeles: The Noontide Press, 1969, Chapter 6; Richard Harwood, Did Six Million Really 
Die? The Truth At Last, London, n.d, 1974, Chapter 4. 

2 The origin of the meme is Friedrich Grimm, Politische Justiz, die Krankheit unserer Zeit. 40 Jahre Dienst im 
Recht, Bonn, 1953, p.l47ff. Sefton Delmer has been invoked by Udo Walendy, Franz Scheidl, Heinz Roth, 
Wolf-Dieter Rothe, Austin App, J.G. Burg, Ernst Ziindel, Mark Weber, William Lindsey, Dankwart Kluge, 
Roland Bohlinger and Johannes Ney, Cedric Martel, Joachim Nolywaika and Knud Backer. 

3 Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, 3 r ed., Chicago: Theses and Dissertations Press, 2003. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

evidence of hoaxing, and assumed that whatever appeared in the paper could not possibly 
have come from Nazi-occupied Europe, but was simply locally-produced propaganda. Robert 
Faurisson, on the other hand, did not even have the courtesy to identify a more specific 
hoaxer, but simply asserted that the "lie" was "essentially of Zionist origin". 4 

It is instructive to be reminded of such utter embarrassments for Revisionism before 
we consider how the 'Hoax' has evolved in recent negationist writings and in the work of 
Mattogno, Graf and Kues. For the identification of a hoaxer revealed more about the 
Revisionist than it did about the Holocaust: that is why the antisemite Rassinier fingered the 
Polish Jewish lawyer Lemkin, why the German nationalist Grimm fingered a British 
propagandist, and why Butz and Faurisson babbled about 'Zionists'. Placing cart firmly 
before horse and arriving at their conclusion before checking the facts, the early Revisionists 
simply vented their frustrations and anger at their imagined enemies and accused them of a 
massive act of fabrication which many could not have committed. For it is a matter of record 
that Raphael Lemkin was not the first to discuss gas chambers, and likewise that the "New 
York Zionists" of Butz's fantasies could not have been the origin of reports of Nazi gassings 
during the war. Not one contemporary negationist author has ever tried to correct or 
apologise for these blatant errors and falsehoods, which have instead simply been thrown 
down the denier memory-hole as if they never existed, even though Butz remains by far the 
most widely-touted Revisionist author on the internet, in the experience of the present group 
of writers. 

No doubt recoiling in shame and horror at the crudity of previous Revisionist efforts 
to locate the origins of the 'Hoax', in 1997 the American negationist "Samuel Crowell" tried 
to advance the theory that the 'Hoax' was in fact not a 'Hoax' at all, but simply a gigantic 
oopsie, a colossal misunderstanding, a product of culturally-determined hysteria born out of 
East European Jews' alleged fear of German hygiene measures, leading them to mistake 
delousing procedures for homicidal gassing. 5 In Crowell's view, the history of the Holocaust 
was really only a 'hystory', a panic reaction no different to the shock produced by the Orson 
Welles radio play of The War of the Worlds in America during 1937. This seemingly 
intellectually sophisticated theory has been touted for some time now on the CODOH home 
page with the marketing slogan 'No Conspiracy - A Grand Delusion'. 6 But even Crowell 

4 Robert Faurisson, 'The Problem of the Gas Chambers', Journal of Historical Review, 1/2, 1980, pp. 103-114. 

5 Samuel Crowell, The Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes, CODOH, 1997, now republished and revised as The 
Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes and Other Writings on the Holocaust, Revisionism, and Historical 
Understanding, Charleston, WV: Nine-Banded Books, 2011. 

6 , accessed 8.8.2011. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

reverted to type when his narrative reached the end of the war, and started alleging that key 
SS witnesses had been tortured and coerced. 

CrowelFs argument reflected the mood of the era which produced this piece of drivel, 
since the very notion of a 'hystory' reflected quite specifically the concerns of 1990s 
American media culture, wracked as it was by panics over Satanic child abuse, false memory 
syndrome and UFO abductions. 7 A number of other negationist writers, among them Germar 
Rudolf and David Irving, similarly tried to ride the Zeitgeist by echoing CrowelPs claims 
about 'false memory syndrome' as a supposed explanation for eyewitness accounts of Nazi 
mass murder. 8 More recently, 'Denierbud' has reverted to Revisionist type and begun the 
truffle hunt for the head hoaxer all over again, fingering SHAEF's Psychological Warfare 
Division as the probable chief culprit. 9 Leaving aside his consistent - and annoying - 
misspelling of 'psyche warfare', Denierbud's claims are risible, simply repeating the same 
error of reductionism made by the first generation of negationist writers, as the largely 
American PWD did not operate in Soviet-liberated territory. Perhaps in dim 
acknowledgement of this, Denierbud has occasionally fingered the Soviet Jewish journalist 
Ilya Ehrenburg as another head honcho of the 'Hoax', simply replacing one strawman target 
with another. Meanwhile, the lunatic fringe of the denier scene has decided to blame the 
'Zionists' after all, claiming that 'the Jews' had already launched one Holocaust propaganda 
campaign in the aftermath of the First World War, citing, as is usual for cranks, a single 
'Crucial Source', namely a misinterpreted newspaper article originally dredged up by Udo 
Walendy. 10 

The intellectual disarray among Revisionists regarding the origins of the 'Hoax' or 
'hystory' is thus truly profound. Neither when reviewing earlier negationist writings nor 
when examining the products of the past eleven years since the Irving-Lipstadt libel trial is 
there any reason to dissent from the assessment offered by Robert Van Pelt that 

The negationists claim to be Revisionist historians, but they have yet to produce a 
history that offers a credible, "revised" explanation of the events in question. 
Until Crowell's piece appeared, Rassinier and his disciples had an exclusively 
nihilist agenda. They attacked the inherited account on the unproven assumption 

7 Indeed, Crowell took the idea of a 'hystory' from a then-brand new book published the same year as his 
original essay, Elaine Showalter, Hystories, New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. 

8 David Irving, 'Falschzeugen', Vierteljahreshefte fiir freie Geschichtsforschung 1/1, 1997, pp.41-46 (review of 
Elizabeth Loftus, The Myth of Repressed Memory, New York, 1994); Germar Rudolf, 'Falsche Erinnerungen 
iiberall - nur nicht in der Zeitgeschichte. Tiber die Unehrlichkeit einer jiidischen Psychologie-Professorin und 
Expertin fiir Aussagenkritik', Vierteljahreshefte fur freie Geschichtsforschung 2/3, 1998, pp. 214-217 


10 Don Heddesheimer, The First Holocaust. Jewish Fund Raising Campaigns with Holocaust Claims During 
and After World War One, Chicago: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2003. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

of some general conspiracy, but they had not been able, or willing, to even begin 
writing a single piece of investigative journalism (let alone produce one product 
of serious revisionist historiography) that gives us the origin and development of 
this conspiracy - the reason why and how it seized on, of all places, those very 
"ordinary" Auschwitz concentration camps as the fulcrum of its effort to 
hoodwink both gentiles and Jews - to leverage the international community in 
general and defraud the Germans and Palestinians in particular. CrowelFs article 
attempts to create a plausible narrative that could have begun, at least 
superficially, to engage with issues of relevancy and causation. But one cannot 
but judge CrowelFs attempt an utter failure. 11 

What Pelt was asking for - and what has to this day not been produced - is a coherent 
explanation from Revisionists of how and why the reports of mass murder and gassing 
originated. Misunderstanding Pelt's point and also snipping most of the quote, Mattogno 
claimed recently in Auschwitz: The Case for Sanity (2010) that he had in fact provided just 
such a credible, "revised" explanation 12 , but it is perfectly obvious from the book that he has 
done no such thing, rather instead simply repeated a range of decontextualised negationist 
jabs at familiar Revisionist bugbears such as the Vrba-Wetzler report on Auschwitz published 
by the War Refugee Board report. 13 

In the 'trilogy' of works on Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, Mattogno, Graf and Kues 
repeat much the same strategy as Mattogno has essayed in his works on Auschwitz. All three 
volumes contain a series of chapters or part chapters addressing what might be called the 
'discovery process' of the Holocaust in general and the Aktion Reinhard camps in particular. 
Already in this critique's introduction, we have asked the question, 'how did we come to 
know about Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka?', and answered it by referring to three broad 
processes: wartime reports, postwar investigations and trials, and historiography. It is not 
difficult to discern that MGK have huge problems with all three phases, and indeed end up 
making conspiracy allegations regarding wartime reports, postwar trials as well as history and 
memory. Nowhere, however, do they use the term 'Hoax'. But this does not stop them from 
using substitute weasel terms like 'propaganda' 14 as well as such rhetoric as 'the gassing 
myth'. 15 Clearly, this is nothing else but the 'Hoax' that dare not speak its name. 

There are any number of problems for MGK's allegations, but two are perhaps more 
critical than others. The biggest problem of all is how MGK have addressed these issues: one 
camp at a time, in total and utter isolation from each other. Yet if MGK are alleging that 

11 Pelt, The Case for Auschwitz, p. 318. 

12 Carlo Mattogno, Auschwitz: The Case for Sanity, Washington, DC: The Barnes Review, 2010, Vol. 2, p. 669. 

13 Mattogno, Auschwitz: The Case for Sanity, p.541ff. 

14 Used in a derogatory sense 20 times in M&G, Treblinka, 11 times in Mattogno, Belzec and 16 times in MGK, 

15 MGK, Sobibor, p.32. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

wartime reports were nothing more than 'propaganda', it would stand to reason that such a 
conclusion could be reached only after all wartime reports of all camps have been analysed 
together. Likewise, if postwar trials were frame-ups, then proving such a claim would 
necessitate examining all trials. MGK have alleged that so many different Nazi war crimes 
are 'myths' or 'propaganda' in so many different publications that the impression is given 
from browsing their oeuvre that almost every single Nazi war crime is a hoax. Indeed, the 
'trilogy' gives powerful voice to such a suspicion by at one point or another denying the full 
extent of the mass shootings in the occupied Soviet Union 16 , the use of gas chambers in the 
T4 euthanasia program 17 , the existence of gas vans at Chelmno or anywhere else 18 , along 
with the gas chambers at Auschwitz and Majdanek 19 . By breaking the Holocaust down into 
its component parts and examining them piecemeal, MGK create the impression that they do 
not want to consider them together, lest anyone start asking questions about the sheer 
logistics involved in writing up so much false propaganda, rigging so many trials, and 
hoodwinking so many historians. Even if they were to follow Crowell in focusing only on 
gassings, then the number of sites (and thus reports, trials, history books) to be considered 
rapidly escalates to thirty or so locations. But as MGK in fact also deny mass shootings, the 
number of sites, reports, trials and history books is even larger. The one-camp-at-a-time 
piecemeal approach is both intellectually dishonest as well as incoherent. 

The second problem for MGK follows on from the first, which is that all of the 
different phases of the 'discovery process' have been examined in what is by now some 
considerable detail by historians. Yet MGK do not seem very familiar with the now 
substantial literatures on wartime knowledge, postwar trials, historiography or collective 
memory. 20 They therefore end up making a number of assertions which are easily refuted by 
consulting this literature, and are in effect trying to stake out a position while remaining 
spectacularly ignorant of what has already been said about the phenomena they are trying to 
address. The discrepancy between MGK's scribblings in the 'trilogy' and what is available to 
the serious researcher on each of the rubrics is stark, and starker still when we look at 
individual themes. While Mattogno, who draws the duty of 'tackling' wartime reports, at 

16 M&G, Treblinka, pp.203-231; MGK, Sobibor, p.100 n.256; 

17 MGK, Sobibor, pp.254, 278 

18 MGK, Sobibor, p.395 

19 E.g. M&G, Treblinka, p.300 

20 There are dedicated chapters to the themes of bystanders and trials in Dan Stone (ed), The Historiography of 
the Holocaust. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, covering the literature to the early 2000s; MGK have not 
even mastered that portion of the literature, much less recent research. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

least bothers to cite some literature and a few sources on the subject 21 , Graf, who pens a 
chapter in both Treblinka and Sobibor on postwar trials 22 , evidently thinks it acceptable to 
opine about trials whose transcripts he does not cite and has not read, and while ignoring 
virtually everything ever written on the subject. Unless, that is, Graf has redefined 
scholarship to include quoting from Wikipedia, a practice which these days is liable to result 
in a fail if tried on by a first year undergraduate student. 23 It is unsurprising, therefore, that 
virtually all of Mattogno and Graf's allegations are totally unsubstantiated conspiracy 

Wartime Reports 

Mattogno 's exegeses of wartime reports from the death camps all share in common a number 
of bogus assumptions. One such a priori assumption is even clearly spelled out in the titles of 
several of his books: that the reports can be dismissed as "propaganda". 24 Yet nowhere in his 
oeuvre does Mattogno explain what is meant by this term or justify why calling something 
'propaganda' necessarily implies its falsity. That Mattogno doesn't understand the meaning 
of the terms he is using is proven by his frequent invocation of something he calls "black 
propaganda", apparently an especially nasty type of propaganda, if one follows the usage of 
the slogan through his oeuvre. 25 But in actual fact the term 'black propaganda' has a very 
precise meaning, which Mattogno himself inadvertently quotes when citing Walter Laqueur 
speaking of how Polish underground courier Jan Karski "engaged in 'black propaganda' 
among German soldiers, printing and distributing leaflets in German". 26 This is a correct use 
of the term. Black propaganda is propaganda purporting to come from the enemy side. 
Mattogno's "black propaganda" is nothing of the sort. Instead, it is just a hysterical repetition 
of a phrase he liked when he first read and commented on Laqueur's book back in 1991, and 
which is not being correctly used. 27 

In a number of cases, Mattogno sails onto thin ice by labelling the wartime reports he 
so badly wants to dismiss as 'propaganda' when they were nothing of the sort functionally. 

21 M&G, Treblinka, pp.47-64; Mattogno, Belzec, pp.9-34; MGK, Sobibor, pp.63-69 

22 M&G, Treblinka, pp.161-175; MGK, Sobibor, pp.171-192 

23 MGK, Sobibor, pp.174 n.501, 178 n.510, 186 n.528, 191 n.548 

24 The term propaganda can be found in the titles of Mattogno, Belzec; Carlo Mattogno, The Bunkers of 
Auschwitz: Black Propaganda versus History, Chicago: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2004; Mattogno, 
Chelmno; MGK, Sobibor. 

25 Mattogno, Belzec, pp.22, 26; MGK, Sobibor, p.47, 180, 187 

26 Walter Laqueur, The Terrible Secret: An Investigation into the Suppression of Information about Hitler's 


'Final Solution", New York, 1998, p. 230.; cf. Mattogno, Belzec, p. 22; 

Carlo Mattogno, La soluzione finale. Problemi e polemichi, Padova: Edizioni di Ar, 1991, p. 145. The relevant 
passage is repeated verbatim in Mattogno, Belzec, p. 22 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

One can certainly call newspapers, leaflets and other publicity materials put out by a 
particular side in a war or in politics 'propaganda', without necessarily implying anything 
about its truth or falsity. But one cannot label internal intelligence reports, diaries, letters or 
other secret sources as 'propaganda' unless one is severely deranged or in the grip of a 
rabidly partisan bias. The Polish underground state, the Delegatura, was a shadow 
government whose regional branches reported to the centre and then transmitted those reports 
to the Polish government-in-exile in London. 28 Individual units of the Polish Home Army 
(Armia Krajowa) filed numerous secret intelligence reports on what they observed in Nazi- 
occupied Poland, and these were then compiled into several serials of memoranda which 
appeared at regular intervals. One such serial, the Pro Memoria series of quasi-monthly 
situation reports were circulated internally and copied to the government-in-exile, and 
remained unpublished. 29 Another serial, Current Information (Informacja Biezqca), was in 
fact an internal circular, and not an underground newspaper at all, contrary to Mattogno's 
claim, although editors of the underground newspapers of the very many political factions in 
the Polish resistance did then receive it. 30 A comparison between the reports of the Aktion 
Reinhard camps written up in Informacja Biezqca and what appeared in the Polish 
underground press shows that the latter hardly had the space to run all of the information 
contained in Current Information; the largest newspaper, Biuletyn Informacyjny, was just 
eight pages long and in 1942 was largely filled with war news from the many fronts of the 
now global conflict. 31 Whatever else might be said about the news of the death camps, it did 
not originate as "propaganda". In similar fashion, the reports gathered and compiled by 
Jewish underground organisations such as the Oneg Shabes archive in the Warsaw ghetto 
cannot be called "propaganda" without doing considerable violence to the real meaning of the 
term. This does not mean that information received by Oneg Shabes was not passed to the 
Polish underground press via the Bureau of Information and Propaganda - in modern terms, 
the publicity department of the AK 32 or, indeed, later, to the outside world 33 , but is a 

28 For background on the Polish government-in-exile's reactions to the Holocaust, see David Engel, In the 
Shadow of Auschwitz: The Polish Govemment-in-Exile and the Jews, 1939-1942. Chapel Hill: University of 
North Carolina Press, 1987, and Facing a Holocaust. The Polish Govemment-in-Exile and the Jews 1943-1945. 
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993 

29 Janusz Gmitruk et al (eds), Pro Memoria (1941-1944). Raporty Departmentu Informacji Delegatury Rzadu 
RP na Kraj o zbrodniach na narodzie polskim. Warsaw/Pultusk, 2004/2005 

30 M&G, Treblinka, p.47 

31 On the Polish underground press, see Klaus-Peter Friedrich, Der nationalsozialistische Judenmord in 
polnischen Augen: Einstellungen in den polnischen Presse 1942-1946/47, PhD, Universitat zu Koln, 2002. 

32 Cf. Ruta Sakowska, 'Biuro Informacjii Propagandy KG Armii Krajowej a Archiwum Ringelbluma (luty-lipiec 
1942), BZIH 162-163, 1992. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

comment on where the information came from. A postcard received from a shtetl in the 
Lublin district - just one of the many pieces of documentary evidence in the Ringelblum 
archive pertaining to Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka - is not, and cannot be by definition, 
"propaganda". Mattogno will simply have to find another term for what he is discussing, be 
more discriminating in his rhetoric, or continue to earn derision. 

Another bogus assumption is also shared by Samuel Crowell, who like Mattogno 
seems to have devised a new correspondence theory of (un)truth to explain away wartime 
reports of mass murder and extermination. That is, to claim that such reports originated 
because of a "literary evolution" of claims, whereby the changes between different reports are 
not the product of outside stimuli (like new information being acquired) but are instead the 
product of the unnamed forger/fabricator honing and sharpening their literary skills and 
'perfecting' the 'propaganda'. 34 But in no case have either Mattogno or Crowell proven such 
a 'literary evolution', a negationist cliche which is also applied to testimonies. Indeed, 
Crowell excelled himself by applying this rarefied version of deconstruction for white 
nationalists, their fellow travellers and useful idiots to a testimony by Pavel Leleko, a 
Treblinka II Trawniki guard captured by the 2 nd Belorussian Front near Stutthof, whence he 
had been posted in late 1943 along with other former Treblinka Trawnikis, and who was 
interrogated in 1945. According to Crowell, Leleko was the blueprint for all the statements 
about the Aktion Reinhard camps that came after, including the Gerstein report: "all other 
confessions, to the extent that they describe the gassing process at all, show clear traces of 
harmony with Leleko's testimony". 35 The hilarity of such a claim is that of course, there had 
already been a great many other statements about Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka well before 
Leleko's interrogation in February 1945, and that his statement was then locked away, 
unpublished, unused, and entirely unknown outside the Soviet Union until the second 
Fedorenko denaturalisation trial in the early 1980s. 

Both Mattogno and Crowell, it turns out, are extraordinarily bad at discerning the 
provenance of reports and identifying when a report is derivative and repetitive, versus when 
it is entirely independent. This ineptitude is in no small part due to their lack of awareness of 
the full range of reports. Pace Crowell, reports of gassing cannot be reduced to the product of 
hysterical rumours; pace Mattogno's implied argument, there are too many independent 

33 Most notably, the Bund report of June 1942 and the report of November 1942 written by Hersz Wasser on the 
liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto and the Treblinka extermination camp. 

34 This approach is embedded into the title of Chapter I of Mattogno, Belzec, pp.9-34: 'Literary Origins and 
Development of the Alleged Methods of Murder'. 

35 Crowell, Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes, p. 50 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

sources of such reports to try and dismiss them as the product of a single 'propagandist'. And 
here one must reiterate: implied argument, because Mattogno nowhere makes it clear from 
whence the reports originated, who started them, or why. 

In both cases also, reports of gassings at extermination camps are simply hacked out 
of their actual wartime context, with the preceding escalation of violence and its reporting 
through underground channels entirely ignored. But it is a matter of record that the first 
reports of large-scale, four-figure killings of Polish Jews emerged in the second half of 1941 
from eastern Poland, and were moreover received both by the Delegatura 36 and by Oneg 
Shabes. Indeed, there is now a full publication of the reports received by Oneg Shabes from 
the Polish borderlands, the kresy. 37 Such reports allowed the Delegatura to estimate that over 
200,000 Polish Jews had been murdered by February 1942, a figure which in retrospect was 
surprisingly accurate when compared with the known shooting actions in eastern Poland 
during 1941. 38 

News of Chelmno, meanwhile, not only reached the Warsaw ghetto via the escaped 
slave labourer Shlomo Winer, also known as 'Szlamek' 39 , but was noted down by AK units 
in the Warthegau simultaneously. 40 Moreover, the flight of Szlamek from ghetto to ghetto, 
using the pseudonym Yakov Grojanowski 41 , left further contemporary traces, not least in the 
diary of a rabbi from Konin. 42 Mattogno 's attempt to defuse Szlamek' s report in his short 
brochure on Chelmno 43 therefore need not detain us here, as he will have to go back to the 
library before his comments need be taken even vaguely seriously. But Szlamek' s role did 

36 A good summary of this phase is in Dariusz Stola, 'Early News of the Holocaust from Poland', HGS 11/1, 
1997, pp. 1-27; the most recent and most exhaustive account is in Adam Pulawski, W obliczu Zaglady. Rzqd RP 
na Uchodzstwie, Delegatura Rzqdu RP na Kraj, ZWZ-AK wobec deportacji Zydow do obozow zaglady (1941- 
1942). Lublin: Instytut Pamieci Narodowej, 2009. 

37 Andrzej Zbikowski, (ed.), Archiwum Ringelbuma: Konspiracyjne Archiwum Getta Warszawy, vol. 3: Relacje 
z Kresow, Warsaw: Zydowski Instytut Historyczny IN-B, 2000. 

38 Pulawski, W obliczu Zaglady, pp. 153-4; Stola, 'Early News', p.4. 

39 The identity of 'Szlamek' has been clarified beyond reasonable doubt in Przemyslaw Nowicki, 'Zanim 
"przybyl z zaswiatow", nazywal si? Winer. Krag rodzinny i konspiracyjny Szlamka, uciekiniera z osrodka 
zaglady w Chelmnie nad Nerem, Zaglada Zydow, 2009, pp. 162-192. 

40 Pulawski, W obliczu Zaglady, p,83ff. The AK continued to report on Chelmno through 1942, cf. Michael 
Alberti, Die Verfolgung und Vernichtung der Juden im Reichsgau Wartheland 1939-1945. Wiesbaden, 2006, 
p.451 n.403. 

41 Kassow, Who Will Write Our History? p. 291. This has caused a number of authors to misidentify Szlamek's 
real name as Grojanowski. 

42 Esther Farbstein, 'Diaries and Memoirs as a Historical Source - The Diary and the Memoir of a Rabbi at the 
'Konin House of Bondage',' YVS XXVI, 1998, pp.87-128. 

43 Mattogno, Chelmno, pp. 66-76. The criticisms levelled are mostly paranoid nitpicks or statements of 
incredulity and incomprehension, for example Mattogno does not consider that the description of the internal 
workings of the gas van in Szlamek's report are closer to the previous generation of vans used by 
Sonderkommando Lange in its euthanasia operations across the Warthegau in 1940-41. Cf. Patrick Montague, 
Chelmno and the Holocaust. The History of Hitler's First Death Camp. London: LB. Tauris, 2011, pp. 203-4, 
who comes to the same conclusion. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

not end with his account of Chelmno. Fearing for his safety, Oneg Shabes helped Szlamek 
find a new home under a new identity in Zamosc, the capital of the county in which Belzec 
was located. There, Szlamek swiftly discovered that he had escaped out of the frying pan into 
the fire, as he related in a postcard sent to Warsaw between April 5 and 12, 1942 which 
reached Oneg Shabes: "they make cold in the same way that they did in Chelmno. The 
cemetery is in Belzyc. The towns mentioned in the letter have already been made cold." 44 

Szlamek himself was probably deported on April 11 to Belzec, but his knowledge of 
the nearby extermination camp was far from unique, as the postwar testimony of the head of 
the Zamosc Judenrat, Mieczyslaw Garfinkiel, indicates. 45 Garfinkiel first heard 'alarming 
news' that the Jews of Lublin were being transported through Zamosc to Belzec. At first he 
did not believe the news that the deportees were being killed there; not even the appearance 
of several escapees from the camp convinced him. Only when the son of an acquaintance 
returned after escaping did Garfinkiel fully believe what he was hearing. 

The local Armia Krajowa command filed a confidential report in April 1942 which is 
worth quoting in full, not least because although it has been published and translated in full in 
Yitzhak Arad's work on Aktion Reinhard, Mattogno sees fit to ignore it entirely in his book 
on Belzec: 

The camp was fully completed a few days before March 17, 1942. From that day 
transports with Jews began to arrive from the direction of Lvov and Warsaw. . . 
On the first day five transports arrived, afterward, one transport arrived daily 
from each direction. The transport enters the railway spur of Belzec camp after 
disembarkation, lasting half an hour, the train returns empty.... The observation 
of the local population (the camp is within sight and hearing distance of the 
inhabitants near the railway station) led all of them to one conclusion: that there is 
a mass murder of the Jews inside the camp. The following facts testify to this: 

1. Between March 17 and April 13, about fifty-two transports (each of eighteen to 
thirty-five freight-cars with an average of 1,500 people) arrived in the camp. 

2. No Jews left the camp, neither during the day nor the night. 

3. No food was supplied to the camp (whereas bread and other food articles had 
been dispatched to the Jews who had worked earlier on the construction of the 

4. Lime was brought to the camp. 

5. The transports arrived at a fixed time. Before the arrival of a transport, no Jews 
were seen in the camp. 


Reproduced in facsimile in Ruta Sakowska (ed), Archiwum Ringelbluma. Konspiracyjne Archiwum Getta 

Warszawy. Tom 1 : Listy o Zagladzie. Warsaw, 1997, p. 131 


Michal Grynberg and MariaKotowska (eds), Zycie i zaglada Zydow polskich 1939-1945. Relacje swiadkow. 
Warsaw: Oficyna Naukowa, 2003, p. 151-4 (from AZIH zespol 302/122); cf. Hilberg, Vernichtung, Bd.2, p. 518. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

6. After each transport, about two freight cars with clothing are removed from the 
camp to the railway stores. (The guards steal clothes.) 

7. Jews in underwear were seen in the area of the camp. 

8. In the area of the camp there are three barracks; they cannot accommodate even 
one-tenth of the Jews. 

9. In the area of the camp, a strong odor can be smelled on warmer days. 

10. The guards pay for vodka, which they drink in large quantities, with any 
requested sum, and frequently with watches and valuables. 

11. Jews arrived in Belzec looking for a witness who would testify that Jews are 
being killed there. They were ready to pay 12,000 zloty... They did not find a 
volunteer. ... It is unknown by which means the Jews are liquidated in the camp. 
There are three assumptions: (1) electricity; (2) gas; (3) by pumping out the air. 

With regard to (1): there is no visible source of electricity; with regard to (2): no 
supply of gas and no residue of the remaining gas after the ventilation of the gas 
chamber were observed; with regard to (3): there are no factors that deny this. It 
was even verified that during the building of one of the barracks, the walls and 
the floor were covered with metal sheets (for some purpose). 

In the area of the camp huge pits were dug in the autumn [of 1941]. At that time it 
was assumed that there would be underground stores. Now the purpose of this 
work is clear. From the particular barrack where the Jews are taken for so-called 
disinfection, a narrow railway leads to these pits. It was observed that the 
"disinfected" Jews were transported to a common grave by this trolley. 

In Belzec the term Totenlager was heard in connection with the Jewish camp. The 
leadership of the camp is in the hands of twelve SS men (the commander is 
Hauptmann Wirth) who have forty guards for help. 46 

The report is remarkable for a number of reasons. Firstly, the AK observers reported 
on what they saw: 52 transports arriving, whereas "no Jews left the camp, neither during the 
day or the night". From this simple observation, they could deduce that something was 
seriously awry at Belzec, and tested this against a variety of other, enumerated observations. 
Like a detective in a locked-room mystery, they drew the conclusion "that there is a mass 
murder of Jews inside the camp". This is in fact absolutely no different to that which can be 
deduced from German documents and the physical condition of the site after liberation, and is 
just as conclusive. 

Only the precise murder method was unclear to outside observers, and thus the AK 
summarised the thoughts of nearby villagers as to what it was. The discrimination with which 
they weighed up gas, electricity and the pumping out of air is also striking, as we have here a 
documentation of the speculation that was circulating in the Lublin countryside. Indeed, 
Zygmunt Klukowski, a Polish doctor living in Szczebrzeszyn, Zamosc county, noted in his 

46 Zygmunt Marikowski, Zwiazek Walki Zbrojnej, I, Armia Krajowa w Okregu Lubelskim, London. 1973. Book 
Two, Documents, pp. 34-35, also translated and cited in Arad, Belzec, Sobibor Treblinka, pp. 350-1 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

diary on April 16 that "we now know that every day there is a train arriving at Belzec from 
Lublin and one from Lwow, each with twenty cars. The Jews must get off, are taken behind a 
barbed-wire fence and murdered by an electric current or poisoned with gas and then the 
corpses are burned." 47 

Deniers have long pointed gleefully to reports of 'electric chambers' at Belzec 
without investigating the real context. Some have even tried to parlay the hearsay reports 
spreading across the Polish countryside into "eyewitness" accounts, a dishonesty which will 
be examined further in Chapter 6. But none have bothered to track the spread of the hearsay 
or to properly acknowledge that from the outset, there were simultaneous reports of gassing. 
Indeed, Mattogno's gloss on the reports, that they did not specify "gas chambers using the 
exhaust gas from a diesel engine", is a particularly odious example of the fallacy of 
misplaced precision and a classic instance of negationist misdirection. By omitting the AK 
report from his analysis, Mattogno prevented his faithful flock from learning of a report that 
might inflict too much cognitive dissonance on them. 

It is not difficult to track the spiral of hearsay which led to 'electric chambers' 
becoming strongly associated with Belzec. But it is likewise not difficult to find references to 
Belzec using gas. Several Delegatura reports claimed electricity, ignoring the uncertainty in 
the original report 48 , but this did not stop Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, the prime minister of the 
Polish government-in-exile, stating at a meeting on July 7, 1942 that "apparentiy, in Belzec 
and Trawniki, murder with poison gas." 49 The Pro Memoria report covering the period from 
August 26 to October 19, 1942, was not untypical in referring to gas chambers at Belzec. 50 

47 Zygmunt Klukowski, Dziennik z lat okupacji, Lublin, 1959, p. 254; cf. Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, 
p. 324; Pulawski, W obliczu Zaglady, p. 291. The reference to the burning of corpses is a typical example of 
'slippage': it is not unlikely that rubbish was burned at the camp, which together with the fact that deportees 
were entering the camp and not coming out, would be easily misinterpreted at this stage. Later testimonies and 
reports about open-air cremations are more detailed, as will be seen in Chapter 6. 

48 Biuletyn Informacyjny, the official organ of the AK, repeated the uncertainty over 'poison gas or electric 
current' in August 1942: see edition Nr 32 (136), published in Biuletyn Informacyjny. Czesc II: Przedruck 
rocznikow 1942-1943, Warsaw, 2002, p. 1045; cf. Friedrich, Der nationalsozialistische Judenmord in polnische 
Augen, p. 113; Markus Roth, Herrenmenschen: Die deutschen Kreishauptieute im besetzen Polen - 
Karrierwege, Herrschaftspraxis und Nachgeschichte, Osnabriick: Wallstein, 2009, pp. 227-8. 

49 Stola, 'Early News', p. 7. In a recent article, Thomas Kues has highlighted a report appearing in the Polish 
exile newspaper Dziennik Polski on 11 July 1942, in which Mikolajczyk is quoted as referring to deportations to 
'Belzec and Treblinka'. As the official protocol of the cabinet meeting apparently says 'Trawniki', the gambit - 
trying to stir up suspicion about a too-early referece to deportations to Treblinka - fails utterly. Somewhere 
along the chain of transmission from local underground organisation to London and thence to the Dziennik 
Polski journalist, the information became garbled - something which was clear from re-reading Stola's article 
for this critique. The present author previously expressed the suspicion that Udo Walendy had altered the 
original newspaper to score a revisionist 'goal', and is happy to accept that he was acting like, well, a 
Revisionist. See Thomas Kues, 'A Premature News Report on a 'Death Camp' for Jews', Inconvenient History 
3/3, 2011. 

50 Sprawozdanie z sytuacji w kraju w okresie 26 VIII - 10 X 1942, in Gmitruk (ed), Pro Memoria, p. 251 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Moreover, the Polish underground was far from the only recipient of eyewitness or hearsay 
reports regarding Belzec. The so-called 'Working Group' in Slovakia, organised by among 
others Gisi Fleischmann, received reports in October 1942 from couriers travelling between 
Bratislava and ghettos in the Lublin district which still accommodated surviving Slovak 
Jewish deportees, that Slovak Jews had been evacuated "to the other side of the Bug". 
Clarification was forthcoming by the end of November: letters from survivors informed the 
'Working Group' about "facilities" (Anstalten) for extermination by "lethal fumes" located 
"near Belzec." 51 

On the other hand, it seems that rumours of electricity as the killing method at Belzec 
persisted most strongly in the Galicia district to the east of Belzec. A Ukrainian nationalist 
newspaper published by the OUN, Ideya i Chyn, referred to 'electric current' as the method 
used "in Belzec" to kill the Jews being deported westwards "out of Galicia... in an unknown 
direction." 52 Two further reports from Galicia are even more instructive in their contrasting 
reports. Stemming from French and Belgian prisoners of war interned in the Stalag at Rawa 
Ruska, a major rail junction not far from Belzec, who successfully escaped across the Baltic 
to Sweden, the first report, taken down in February 1943, cited hearsay of "electrocution en 
masse" about a massacre and deportation at Tarnopol. 53 A second report came from two 
Belgian POWs, who had observed hundreds of wagons passing through the Rawa Ruska rail 
junction and returning empty. Those who died on the way or were shot trying to escape were 
dumped unceremoniously onto the side of the tracks. 

What made the most impression on them was the extermination of the Jews. They 
had both witnessed atrocities. One of the Belgians saw truck loads of Jews carried 
off into a wood and the trucks returning a few hours later - empty. Bodies of 
Jewish children and women were left lying in ditches and along the railways. The 
Germans themselves, they added, boasted that they had constructed gas chambers 
where Jews were systematically killed and buried. 54 

The spread of knowledge was therefore and not unsurprisingly, inconsistent. In 1944 

a Jewish survivor from the Galicia district, Adolf Folkmann, likewise escaped to Sweden and 

brought with him a hearsay account of electrocution at Belzec, manifestly elaborated in the 

telling and retelling. 55 Mattogno, of course, gleefully cites this account at inordinate length, 

51 Gila Fatran, 'The "Working Group",' HGS 8/2, 1994, pp.164-201, here pp.182-3 

52 Dieter Pohl, Nationalsozialistische Judenverfolgung in Ostgalizien 1941-1944. Munich: Oldenbourg Verlag, 
1996, p.326 

53 Press Reading Bureau Stockholm to PID London, 24.2.43, PRO FO 371/34427. The report was first 
highlighted in 1990 in David Bankier, The Germans and the Final Solution: Public Opinion under Nazism, 
Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1992, p.110. 

54 PRB Stockholm to PID London, 18.5.43, PRO FO 371/34430; cf. Bankier, p.110 

55 Stefan Szende, Adolf Folkmann, The Promise Hitler Kept, London: Victor Gollancz, 1945 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

and also cites a New York Times report from February 1944 which likewise mentioned 
electricity as the killing method at Belzec. 56 What he omits to mention is that the NYT report 
was based on the same source. 57 Other survivors of the Holocaust in Galicia, including 
witnesses whose testimony was included in the Black Book compiled by Ilya Ehrenburg and 
Vasily Grossman 58 , as well as Simon Wiesenthal, who wrote a lurid pamphlet in 1946 which 
additionally spoke of human soap being manufactured from corpses, also referred to 
electricity as the chosen killing method at Belzec. 59 

It is a matter of indifference to us that rumours of a 'soap factory' attached themselves 
to Belzec, although it seems to exercise Mattogno greatly 60 , just as it is a matter of 
indifference that distorted hearsay about electricity at Belzec was demonstrably repeated, 
because in both cases the reports were manifestly hearsay, something which seemingly 
eludes Mattogno's co-author Jiirgen Graf when he conflates Wiesenthal and Szende into 
apparent direct-eyeball witnesses. 61 Historians have no great difficulty in distinguishing 
between such hearsay reports and more direct accounts. The cloud of hearsay distortion 
surrounding Belzec is a classic illustration of the adage 'no smoke without fire', as well as a 
model example of how Chinese whispers develop. The reports demonstrate that Belzec was 
referred to, over and over again, as a site of extermination. The distortions generated by 
hearsay had a clear point of origin in fact, as the Armia Krajowa report of April 1942 
indicates. The facts were, indeed, rather simple: Jews went in and did not come out. 62 Until 
Mattogno and his sidekicks deal with those reports and explain why they are to be set aside, 

56 New York Times, 12.2.1944, p.6 

57 Folkmann was also the most likely source for Stefan Tadeusz Norwid, Landet utan Qusling, Stockholm: 
Bonniers, 1944, pp. 102-4, which likewise mentioned electricity at Belzec. Cf. Ingvar Svanberg and Mattis 
Tyden, Sverige och forintelsen. Debatt och dokument om Europas judar 1933-1945. Stockholm: Dialogos, 
2005, pp. 364-8, also including a full excerpt of Norwid's account. Mattogno, Belzec, p. 21, quotes from the 
German edition, Martyrium ernes Volkes, 1945.. 

58 Ilya Ehrenburg and Vasily Grossman, The Complete Black Book of Russian Jewry, New Brunswick: 
Transaction Publishers, 2002, p. 82. 

59 Simon Wiesenthal, 'Seifenfabrik Belsetz,' Der neue Weg, Nr. 19/20, 1946. We thank Dr. Joachim Neander 
for a copy of this article. On Wiesenthal's rather complex self-presentation after the war, see the engaging recent 
biography by Tom Segev, Simon Wiesenthal. The Life and Legends, London: Jonathan Cape, 2010, which 
unlike denier rantings aimed at one of their favourite hate-figures, at least has the virtue of being readable. 

60 Mattogno, Belzec, pp.33-34 

61 Jiirgen Graf, The Giant With Feet of Clay. Raul Hilberg and his Standard Work on the "Holocaust" . Chicago: 
Theses and Dissertations Press, 2001., p. 83 

62 This was emphasised by the Polish underground press in the first half of 1942 regarding Belzec, which was 
identified as "a special camp, where the expelled Jews are concentrated and apparently murdered" (WRN, 7/89, 
27.4.1942, a socialist paper), and about which "all signs indicate that the murder of thousands of people takes 
place in this camp" (Biuletyn Informacyjny Nr 22 (126), 3.6.1942) and that it was a camp "from which no one 
returns" (Szaniec, Nr 12 (86), 15.6.1942, a right-wing paper), citations from Friedrich, Der nationalsozialistische 
Judenmord, pp. 174-5, 112, 235. The degree of unanimity across the political spectrum is also worth 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

then we will simply notch up 'Belzec electric chambers' alongside many another idiotic 
meme on the Denier Bullshit Bingo scorecard. 

The implied argument within Mattogno's "propaganda thesis" - insofar as one can 
discern a coherent argument at all - is that all reports can be traced back to Polish or Jewish 
sources. This is refuted in the case of Belzec by a number of reports reaching neutral 
recipients in 1942 and 1943, some of which have already been mentioned above. One of the 
more important examples was the first report to definitively reach the Swedish government in 
August 1942, filed by the Swedish consul in Stettin, Vendel, after a meeting with a German 
Army officer, most likely associated with the resistance circle around Henning von 
Tresckow. The report, dated August 20, ran: 

The treatment of the Jews, as described by the person to whom I spoke, is of the 
kind that is impossible to express in writing. That is why I limit myself to a few 
brief pieces of information. The treatment differs in different locations, depending 
on the number of Jews. In some cities there are Jewish quarters; in others there 
are ghettos surrounded by high walls, which Jews can trespass only at the risk of 
being shot; finally, in some others Jews enjoy some freedom of movement. 
Nevertheless, the aim is the extinction of them all. The number of Jews murdered 
in Lublin is estimated at 40,000. The Jews over fifty years of age and children 
under ten are especially subjected to extermination. The rest are left alive in order 
to fill the gap in the workforce; they will be exterminated as soon as they are no 
longer useful. Their property is confiscated; it mostly falls into the hands of SS 
men. In the cities all Jews are gathered; they are officially informed that it is for 
the purpose of 'delousing'. At the entrance they have to leave their clothes, which 
are immediately sent to a 'central warehouse of textile materials'. Delousing is in 
practice gassing, after which all are packed into previously prepared mass graves. 
The source from whom I received all the information about the conditions in the 
General Government is such that there can be no shadow of a doubt that his 
description is true. 63 

At virtually precisely the same time, as is well known, Kurt Gerstein visited Belzec, 

and upon his return informed the Swedish diplomat Baron von Otter of what he had 

witnessed there. Although Otter corroborated Gerstein' s 1945 claim to have passed on the 

news, no documentary trace survived in the files of the Swedish Foreign Office. 64 The 

Vendel report, however, does. The reference to the liquidation of the Lublin ghetto places the 

report and its mention of gassing in direct connection with Belzec. Another report that can be 

directly connected with Belzec is a letter from the Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Uniate 

Church in Lwow, Sheptyts'kyi, to the Vatican at the end of August 1942, which spoke of the 

63 Jozef Lewandowski, 'Early Swedish Information about the Nazis' Mass Murder of the Jews', Polin, 2000, 

64 Cf. Steven Koblik, The Stones Cry Out: Sweden's Response to the Persecution of the Jews 1933-1945, New 
York: Holocaust Library, 1988, p.58ff 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

murder of 200,000 Jews in Eastern Galicia. 65 The accumulation of such reports helps 
corroborate a wartime report based on information from Kurt Gerstein that does survive, 
namely the report of Gerstein' s friend in the Netherlands, J.H. Ubbink, written down in Dutch 
after a 1943 meeting with Gerstein in Berlin. Gerstein reported to Ubbink on his visit to 
'killing facilities' (Totungsanstalten) in Poland, specifically including 'Belsjek', where he 
witnessed a gassing of Jews. As the 1943 report stated (perhaps not entirely precisely 
relaying details from Gerstein account), "Outside the building now a big tractor is started, the 
exhaust of which enters the building." 66 

Mattogno is completely silent on the Ubbink report in Belzec, and indeed has very 
little to say about Gerstein in that brochure. He might well reply by pointing to his discussion 
of Gerstein in Treblinka (!) 67 , and to his 1980s book on Gerstein - unfortunately, not a single 
copy of the latter book appears to be available in any library of the present author's home 
country, so it might as well not exist for all practical purposes. 68 The discombobulation and 
incoherence produced by his refusal to discuss the Ubbink report in its proper context - 
wartime reports about Belzec - and the more general refusal to analyse the three camps 
together is in our view a typical example of Mattogno 's dishonesty and intellectual vapidity. 

One point that has not so far been aired regarding the reports of Belzec - there are 
more, but it would be merely bouncing the rubble to repeat them all - is the striking mention 
in the AK report of April 1942 of none other than a 'police captain' by the name of Wirth 
who commanded Belzec. It would be a colossal coincidence that the Polish resistance would 
succeed in naming the same man as is documented in German records as involved directly in 
Aktion Reinhard. With literally thousands of camps in Poland, the odds of the Polish 
resistance arbitrarily picking Belzec and picking Wirth by chance are indeed, astronomical. 
MGK might well respond by conceding that Wirth was the commandant of Belzec, but at the 
cost of confirming a detail mentioned by more than a few witnesses (see Chapter 6). 

Mattogno 's refusal to discuss all three Aktion Reinhard camps together leads him into 
yet another argumentative cul-de-sac in Sobibor. Noting that there were relatively few reports 

65 Actes et documents du Saint Siege relatifs a la seconde guerre mondiale. Le Saint Siege et les victimes de la 
guerre. Tome 3/2. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1967, pp. 625-9, esp. 625; cf. also Pohl, Ostgalizien, 
p. 329-330. On Sheptyts'kyi see also Hansjakob Stehle, 'Der Lemberger Metropolit Septyckyj und die 
nationalsozialistische Politik in der Ukraine', VfZ 34/3, 1986, pp. 407-425; Shimon Redlich 'Metropolitan 
Andrei Sheptyts'kyi, Ukrainians and Jews Before, During and After the Holocaust, HGS 5/1, 1990, pp. 39-51 

66 The report is facsimiled in Louis de Jong, Een Sterfgeval in Auschwitz, Amsterdam, 1967 and 1970, without 
pagination. On the Ubbink report see also Louis De Jong, 'Die Niederlande in Auschwitz', VfZ 17/1, 1969, pp.l- 
16, and more recently Florent Brayard, 'An Early Report by Kurt Gerstein', Bulletin du Centre de recherche 
francais a Jerusalem 6, 2000, pp. 157-174. 

67 M&G, Treblinka, pp.128-132. 

68 Carlo Mattogno, // rapporto Gerstein. Anatomia di un falso. Monfalcone: Sentinella d'ltalia, 1985. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

about the camp 69 , he does not stop to ask why. But this is intuitively obvious: Sobibor was 
even more remotely located than Belzec or Treblinka, and the news of the camp arrived at a 
time when reports of Chelmno and Belzec were accumulating, so that Polish underground 
intelligence bulletins and newspapers frequently bracketed Sobibor together with other 

Nonetheless, news began to accumulate in June 1942, especially reports received by 
Oneg Shabes in Warsaw. A postcard from Wlodawa, Chelm county, sent on June 1, 1942 
warned that "uncle" (the Nazis) was preparing "the same kind of wedding for the children 
that we had here" and building a new house "very near to you", and that the "best remedy for 
this illness" was to go into hiding. 70 Written in veiled code, the message was received and 
understood by Oneg Shabes, as two couriers, Frumka Plotnicka and Chava Folman, reported 
back from Rejowiec and Hrubieszow with the news that Sobibor was the destination of the 
Jews deported from this region, and was like Belzec. 71 A fugitive from Biala Podlaska, 
another town in the Lublin district caught up in the Sobibor deportations at this time, also 
made his way to Warsaw and informed Emanuel Ringelblum, the chief organiser of Oneg 
Shabes, of what had transpired: "a population 'transfer' (it would be more accurate to speak 
of a transfer' into the beyond') to Sobibor near Chelm, where Jews are poisoned with gas." 72 

Another Warsaw diarist, Abraham Lewin, spoke with a girl from Deblin-Irena who 
had escaped deportation on July 5, hearing a lengthy account of the brutal and violent 
circumstances of the deportation and how the surviving Jews tried to find out where the 
deportees had been sent. A Jewish woman bribed a "Gestapo agent" (presumably, a Polish 
informer) for information. "He told her that in Sobibor he had not found the men he was 
looking for. He had been told that the men had been taken to Pinsk. We should assume that 
this was just a pretext. He couldn't find them because they were probably no longer in this 
world. For his trouble and his travel expenses, the agent extorted from the unfortunate wife 
and mother 1,000 zloty." 73 Indeed, no Jews arrived from anywhere in the Pinsk ghetto at this 
or any other time 74 ; Lewin correctly deduced that the story was false. "What happened in 

69 MGK, Sobibor, p.63. 

70 Sakowska (ed), Archiwum Ringelbluma. Listy o Zagladzie, pp. 151-155 

71 Ruta Sakowska, Die Zweite Etappe ist der Tod. NS-Ausrottungspolitik gegen die polnische Juden gesehen mit 
den Augen der Opfer, Berlin: Edition Hentrich, 1993, p.40ff; cf. Kassow, Who Will Write Our History? p. 293 

72 Hilberg, Vernichtung, p. 525, citing Emanuel Ringelblum's diary entry of 17.6.1942, published by Joseph 
Kermisz in YVS VII, 1968, p. 178. Cf. similar entries in diary of Hersh Wasser, Joseph Kermisz, 'Daily Entries 
of Hersh Wasser', YVS XV, 1983, pp.201-282, esp entries of 26.5.42 and 30.5.42, pp.277, 282 

73 Havi Ben-Sasson and Lea Preiss, 'Twilight Days: Missing Pages from Avraham Lewin's Warsaw Ghetto 
Diary, May- July 1942', YVS XXXIII, 2005, pp.7-60, here pp.48-51, citation p.51 

74 On the history of the Jews of Pinsk and the ghetto in 1941-2, see E.S Rozenblat and I.E. Elenskaia, Pinskie 
evrei: 1939-1944 gg. Brest, 1997. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

Deblin," he continued, "also happened in the surrounding Jewish small towns such as 
Baranow, Micow, and Ryki. In the place of the deported Jews, Slovakian and Czech Jews 
were brought in. They took over the small houses of the deportees. The Jews who have been 
brought in work for the Germans. They are held in barracks, that means that they are in a 
labour camp all week and can come home to the town only on Sundays." 75 

Lewin was a fairly well informed observer who had already noted on May 30 that the 
number of victims in Galicia had reached 100,000. 76 Lewin' s diary entry on Sobibor is 
instructive, as it accurately reflects Nazi policy at this time: extermination coupled with 
forced labour, Polish Jews - especially the unfit - deported to the death camps while Jews 
from Slovakia and the Reich were moved in temporarily to replace them, being targeted for 
deportation in later waves. 77 The diary also reflects the blatant dissembling of the Nazis over 
where the Jews had gone, and the refusal of more and more Jews to believe the fairy-tales of 
'resettlement'. To take the claim of a deportation from Deblin-Irena to Pinsk literally, one 
would moreover have to presume that every survivor of the Pinsk ghetto was in on a gigantic 
conspiracy of silence, and that all German records from the Generalkommissariat Wolhynien 
have been falsified; moreover, even if all of these hurdles were straddled, as we will see in 
Chapter 2, the Jews of Pinsk were murdered in October 1942 in a mass shooting. 

Other Warsaw diarists, meanwhile, did not fully assimilate the news. Chaim Kaplan 
still thought on July 10, 1942, that Sobibor was a gigantic work camp. 78 Given that Sobibor 
was encircled with a penumbra of satellite labour camps, this was a partial truth of sorts. 
Indeed, a more detailed wartime report from Sobibor hailed precisely from one of the lucky 
few to be selected at Sobibor and sent to a nearby labour camp. It was produced by an 
anonymous Slovakian Jewish deportee who survived until at least August 1943 in the region 
and then escaped, and whose account was smuggled out to the 'Working Group', who then 
passed it on to the Czechoslovak embassy in Switzerland. 79 Although reproduced almost in 
full in Jules Schelvis' book on Sobibor 80 , Mattogno does not see fit to acknowledge this 
source properly. 

The report describes the writer's deportation to Rejowiec and life in the ghetto and 
labour camp there, until on August 9, 1942, the ghetto and labour camp were both hit by a 

75 Ben-Sasson/Preiss, 'Twilight Days', p. 51 

76 Lewin, A Cup of Tears, p.l07ff 

77 See Chapter 3. 

78 Chaim Kaplan, Scroll of Agony: The Warsaw Diary of Chaim A. Kaplan, Bloomington: Indiana University 
Press, 1999, p.370 

79 Tatsachenbericht eines aus der Slowakei deportierten und zuriickgekehrten Juden, 17.8.43, VHA Fond 
140/59, pp.41-50 (Papers of J. Kopecky) 

80 Schelvis, Vernichtungslager Sobibor, pp. 253-259 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

deportation to Sobibor 81 , beginning with the usual massacre of the sick and escalating into an 
indiscriminate mass shooting of part of the assembled population, leaving around 700 Jews 
dead. The remaining 2,000 were transported to Sobibor, accompanied by Trawnikis ("black 
Ukrainians"). On arrival, men and women were separated, and a selection was carried out, 
picking out 155 men and women. They were told by an SS lieutenant, "you have been 
reborn." They were then taken to the labour camp at Krychow, where they became part of a 
contingent of 1200 workers composed of 400 Czech, 200 Slovak and 600 Polish Jews. Deaths 
were numerous, and the group of 155 from Rejowiec lost at least 60 to typhus and 
exhaustion. A selection was carried out on October 16, with the selectees being transported 
from the camp to Wlodawa, from where they were deported to Sobibor four days later. 
Another selection took place on December 9, liquidating the entire camp barring 110 people. 
In the first half of 1943, the Krychow camp was expanded once more when the nearby labour 
camps at Osowa, Sawin, Sajozice and Luta were liquidated, so that the number of inmates 
rose again to 553. In April 1943, the camp inmates were told that 'Belgian and Dutch Jews' 
would soon arrive, but they never came. "In the vicinity of Sobibor," the writer noted, "one 
can always observe fire by night, and in a wide area one can register the stink of burned hair. 
Various signs allow the conclusion (the population asserts it in any case) that the corpses, 
which had been executed previously through electricity and gas - and were later buried - are 
now exhumed and burned, in order to leave no trace." 82 

The writer's descriptions of fires burning at night and the stink of burning hair were 
direct observations, his mention of "electricity and gas" were not. The mention of electricity 
indicates how widespread this rumour was - it was also repeated for Treblinka - but more 
problematic for Mattogno is why the Slovakian fugitive also mentioned gas. He had spent too 
little time in the forecourt at Sobibor when selected and spared for labour to learn anything of 
the exact inner workings of the camp, and as we will see later, there was a great deal of 
uncertainty among the Sonderkommandos working in the 'outer camp' at Sobibor about the 
precise killing mechanism. Nonetheless, the fact that gas was being spoken of in Chelm 
county in 1942-3 is instructive. It helps explain why underground newspapers were 
identifying gas as the killing method at both Belzec and Sobibor by early August 1942. 83 

81 At this time, the rail line to Sobibor north of the camp was being regauged; Rejowiec is however to the south. 

82 Tatsachenbericht eines aus der Slowakei deportierten und zuriickgekehrten Juden, 17.8.43, VHA Fond 
140/59, p. 50 

83 Friedrich, Der nationalsozialistische Judenmord im Augen der Polen, p. 335, citing Przez walke do 
zwyciestwa mit, wdz Nr 18 (56), 10.8.42 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

With the pause in operations at Sobibor through the summer of 1942, reports about 
the camp unsurprisingly declined, but this was not the case for Treblinka. The place name 
was already associated with a forced labour camp, Treblinka I, established in November 1941 
that over the course of the first half of 1942 had acquired a fearsome reputation in Warsaw, as 
it swallowed up hundreds of Jews deported there for slave labour. The start of the Warsaw 
ghetto action on July 22, 1942, however, could not be mistaken for a mere labour transfer. On 
July 26, Stefan Korbonski radioed out of Warsaw that Nazis 

have begun the slaughter of the Warsaw Ghetto. The order concerning the 
deportation of 6,000 was posted. One is allowed to take 15kg of luggage and 
jewellery. So far two trainloads of people were taken away, to meet death, of 
course. Despair, suicides. Polish police have been removed, their place was taken 
by szaulisi 84 , Latvians, Ukrainians. Shooting on streets and in houses. 85 

News rapidly returned to the ghetto and the city that the deportees, leaving Warsaw at 

the rate of 5,000 per day, were turning off the main Warsaw-Minsk railway line at Malkinia 

and being sent to another camp at Treblinka. The deputy commander of the Armia Krajowa, 

General Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski, later wrote: 

Not later than July 29 we learned from reports of the railway workers that 
transports were being taken to the concentration camp of Treblinka and that the 
Jews were disappearing there without a trace. There can no longer be any doubt 
that the deportations are the beginning of an extermination. 86 

At this point, communications between Warsaw and the government-in-exile in London seem 

to have broken down, causing an ongoing postwar controversy that the government-in-exile 

had delayed the news of the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. Bor-Komorski and Korbonski 

both claimed to have sent numerous radio messages, but few reached London. 87 Courier 

communications were also hampered by the rolling-up of the "Swedish connection" shortly 

before the start of the action, ending an important outlet of information via Swedish 

businessmen based in Warsaw who smuggled Delegatura reports to Stockholm. 88 The delays 

in news reaching London seriously affected how the Warsaw ghetto action and Treblinka 

were reported. The Times, for example, published a Reuters report datelined Zurich on 

August 17 stating that the head of the Jewish Council in Warsaw, Adam Czerniakow, had 

committed suicide after refusing to provide list of 100,000 Jews who would be deported to 

Lithuanian auxiliary police, also known as Shaulists. 

85 Cited in Stola, 'Early News', p. 9 

86 Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski, The Secret Army, London, 1950, pp. 97-99 

87 Stola, 'Early News', pp.10-12 

88 Jozef Lewandowski, Swedish contribution to the Polish resistance movement during World War Two (1939- 
1942), Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet, 1979 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

"an unknown destination in the east", adding that Czerniakow realised "that the 100,000 
would most probably be massacred." 89 

Inside Poland, meanwhile, the Delegatura as well as other underground observers 
were confirming that the deportees were indeed being massacred. A report from the 
commander of the Armia Krajowa, General Rowecki, sent on August 19 and reaching 
London on August 15, stated: 

Since July 22, liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto (400,000 inhabitants) has 
continued with great cruelty by the German police and Latvian auxiliary police. 
Till now 5-6 and at present 15 thousand daily have been deported. Apparently, the 
majority is murdered in Belzec and Treblinka, a part seems to be assigned to labor 
behind the front line. Mass killings and robbery along with deportation. Several 
tens of thousands of skilled craftsmen and their families are to remain in the 
ghetto. To this point more than 150,000 have been deported. 90 

Biuletyn Informacyjny, the AK's official newspaper, similarly wrote on August 20 that 

"extermination in a camp near Treblinka in gas chambers" was taking place. 91 

Both dispatches to London as well as newspaper articles could not of course include 

more extensive details, but these were noted and recorded in other reports. During August 

and September, the Delegatura rapidly accumulated information about Treblinka, which 

unsurprisingly began with confused descriptions which gradually became more accurate. The 

edition of Current Information of August 17 - the same day as news of Czerniakow' s suicide 

was reported in London - wrote that up to August 7, 113,100 had been deported from 

Warsaw to Treblinka, along with Jews from other cities and towns in Poland such as Radom. 

Of their fate upon arrival, the report wrote 

After the engine leaves the station, they force the Jews to undress in order to go, 
supposedly, to the showers. Actually they are taken to the gas chambers, 
exterminated there, and then buried in prepared pits, sometimes when they are 
still alive. The pits are dug with machines. The gas chambers are mobile, and they 
are situated above the pits. 92 

The observation about mobile gas chambers, it was noted, could not be corroborated by any 

other source. 93 A follow-up report, dated September 8, elaborated further on the camp: 

The Treblinka extermination camp, the place where the Jews are being killed, is 

ay The Times, 17.8.42, cf . Gilbert, Auschwitz and the Allies, p. 63 

90 Stola, 'Early News', p.12 

91 Krakowski, "Holocaust in the Polish Underground Press", p. 250 

92 Informacja Biezqca Nr 30 (55), 17.8.1942, published in Marczewska/Wazniewski, 'Treblinka w swietle Akt 
Delegatury', pp. 136-7 

93 A mobile gas chamber was also recorded in the diary of Wehrmacht captain Wilm Hosenfeld on 6.9.1942. In 
our view, this would trace back to the same original source. Entry published in Wladyslaw Szpilman, Das 
wunderbare Uberleben. Warschauer Erinnerungen 1939-1945. Diisseldorf, 1998, p.l97ff 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

located near the labour camp. It is situated 5km from the Treblinka station, and 
2km from Poniatowo station. There is a direct telephone link to Malkinia. There 
is an old camp (for Poles) and a new camp whose construction is still under way 
(exclusively for Jews)... The extermination of the Jews is now carried out in a 
way that is completely independent of the old camp. A locomotive pushes the 
wagons with the Jews to the platform. The Ukrainians remove the Jews from the 
cats and lead them to the "shower to bathe". This building is fenced off with 
barbed wire. They enter it in groups of 300-500 people. Each group is 
immediately closed hermetically inside, and gassed. The gas does not affect them 
immediately, because the Jews still have to continue on to the pits that are a few 
dozen meters away, and whose depth is 30 metres. There they fall unconscious, 
and a digger covers them with a thin layer of earth. Then other groups arrive... 
Soon we will relay an authentic testimony of a Jew who succeeded in escaping 
from Treblinka". 94 

Mattogno cites from both of these reports with virtually no comment 95 , as part of a 
section of verbatim quotes which are evidently intended to create the impression of great 
confusion and inaccuracy. His circumspection, however, simply begs the question as to what 
his argument actually is. In fact, it would appear that he doesn't have an argument here, and 
is advancing what might be called the non-argument argument, whereby the mere act of 
quoting something is supposedly sufficient to prove a point that is not even outlined, much 
less explained. That early news reports are invariably somewhat garbled is more or less taken 
for granted by everyone other than conspiracy theorists, who seem to find discrepancies 
fascinating in and of themselves, or take them for proof of nefarious goings-on orchestrated 
by the New World Order/Illuminati/Jews/Them, rather than seeing them for what they are, 
namely, garbled reports. 

In the two examples above, the inaccuracies are easy to decipher: both of them offer 
confused descriptions of how the bodies of the victims were taken from the gas chambers to 
the mass graves. One has the gas chamber moving, the other has a delayed-action gas so that 
the victims would stumble from the chamber to the graves. Considering that in reality, the 
corpses of the victims were hauled to the graves by exhausted slave labourers whose life 
expectancy in the first phase of Treblinka was measured in days, and that use was also made 
of flatcars travelling on field railway tracks from the chambers to the grave, both descriptions 
are entirely plausible coming from a witness escaping the outer camp at Treblinka who 
lacked either a precise line of sight or sufficient time to register their impressions properly. 
As with other eyewitness distortions about collapsing floors 96 , such distortions are exactly 

94 Informacja Biezqca Nr 33 (58), 5.9.1942, published in Marczewska/Wazniewski, 'Treblinka w swietle Akt 
Delegatury', pp. 13 7-8 

95 M&G, Treblinka, p.48 

96 See Chapter 6. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

what one would expect. Moreover, such variations clearly emanated from different 
eyewitness accounts, not from any kind of 'literary evolution' when the report-writers sat 
around the Shits 'n' Giggles department at Hoaxter Central and deliberately decided to leave 
Important Clues for conspiraloons to seize upon decades later. While we are fully aware that 
this isn't in fact Mattogno's argument, it might as well be, because nowhere does he even try 
to explain these reports or offer any kind of meaningful argument about them. 

Nor does Mattogno deal properly with the fact that detailed reports on Treblinka 
reached two recipients at this time, the Polish underground as well as the Jews of the Warsaw 
ghetto. Given the chaos of the Warsaw ghetto action and the mass round-ups forcing Jews 
into hiding, it is unsurprising that activists in the ghetto found it difficult to learn accurate 
news until well into the deportation. Nonetheless, the Jewish social democratic party, the 
Bund, succeeded in sending emissaries to Sokolow Podlaski by the end of August, whose 
reports were used by Leon Feiner to write one of several reports recorded at this time. 97 The 
Bund newspaper Oifder Vach published a lengthy article about Treblinka on September 20: 

'The Jews of Warsaw Are Killed in Treblinka' 

During the first week of the "deportation Aktion" Warsaw was flooded with 
greetings from the deported Jews. The greetings arrived from Bialystok, Brest- 
Litovsk, Kosov, Malkinia, Pinsk, Smolensk. All this was a lie. All the trains with 
the Warsaw Jews went to Treblinka, where the Jews were murdered in the most 
cruel way. The letters and greetings came from people who succeeded in escaping 
from the trains or from the camp. It is possible that in the beginning, from the first 
transports, some of the Warsaw Jews were sent to Brest-Litovsk or Pinsk, in order 
that their greetings would mislead, deceive, and provoke false illusions among the 
Jews in Warsaw. Actually, what was the fate of the deported Jews? We know it 
from the stories of the Poles and of those Jews who succeeded in escaping from 
the trains or from Treblinka. . . 

The size of Treblinka was one-half square kilometer. It was surrounded by three 
fences of barbes wire... After unloading the train of the living and the dead, the 
Jews were led into the camp. . . During the descent from the train, shots were fired 
on those who were slow or even for no reason. Those who died en route or were 
shot on the spot were buried between the first and the second fence. . . 

The women and children from the arriving transport were divided into groups of 
200 each and were taken to the "baths". They had to take off their clothes, which 
remained on the spot, and were taken naked to a small barrack called the "bath", 
which was located close to the digging machine. From the bath nobody returned, 
and new groups were entering there constantly. The bath was actually a house of 
murder. The floor in this barrack opened up and the people fell into a machine. 
According to the opinion of some of those who escaped, the people in the barrack 
were gassed. According to another opinion, they were killed by electrical current. 


Daniel Blatman, For Our Freedom and Yours: The Jewish Labour Bund in Poland, 1939-1949. London: 

Vallentine Mitchell, 2003, pp. 102-4. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

From the small tower over the bath, there were constant shots. There was talk that 
the shots were aimed at the people inside the barrack and those who survived the 
gas. The bath absorbs 200 people every fifteen minutes, so in twenty-four hours 
the killing capacity is 20,000 people. That was the explanation for the incessant 
arrival of people in the camp, from where there was no return, except a few 
hundred who succeeded in escaping during the whole time.... During the daytime 
women and children were liquidated and during the nights, the men. . . 

The escape from the camp was difficult and dangerous, but there were people 
who tried to do it, in spite of the fact that the camp was strongly illuminated 
during the night. . . Why wasn't a mass escape organised? There were rumours in 
the camp that it was surrounded by a strong guard and the fences were electrified. 
The people were broken from their experiences at the Umschlagplatz, on the train 
and in the camp. The general depression influenced also those who were, by 
nature, more active. . . 

An SS man gave a speech before each of the arriving transports and promised that 
all of them would be sent for work in Smolensk or Kiev. 

The night between August 19 and 20, when Warsaw was bombarded, there was a 
blackout in the camp for the first time. An SS man addressed the assembled Jews. 
He told them that an agreement had been reached between the German 
government and Roosevelt about the transfer of European Jews to Madagascar. In 
the morning they would leave Treblinka with the first transport. This 
announcement aroused a great joy among the Jews. As soon as the all-clear signal 
was given, the extermination machine started its "normal" activity. Even inside 
the camp, the Nazis continued to mislead the Jews until the last moment. . . 

There were three such camps: one in the vicinity of Pinsk for the eastern area, 
another in the area of Lublin at Belzec, and the third, the largest, was Treblinka 
near Malkinia. 98 

As with many other such sources, this report is ignored by Mattogno, although one 

might expect the references to 'electrical current' to excite him. Indeed, diarists in the ghetto 

continued to refer to electricity well into October. Oneg Shabes activist Peretz Opoczynski 

reported rumours of a "giant electric chair" in Treblinka, capable of killing ten thousand Jews 

and Poles each day. "The Germans like to brag about their industrial prowess," he wrote, 

"and so they also want to run their killing industry with American efficiency." 99 Emanuel 

Ringelblum likewise reported in a long diary entry, undoubtedly dated retrospectively to 

October 15, once the deportation action was over, of "the news about the gravediggers 

(Rabinowicz, Jacob), the Jews from Stok who escaped from the wagons... the unanimous 

description of the "bath", the Jewish gravediggers with yellow patches on their knees. - The 

method of killing: gas, steam, electricity." 100 

98 Cited from Arad, 'Reinhard', pp. 244-6 

99 Kassow, Who Will Write Our History?, p. 192, citing AR-II, No.289 (9.10.1942) 

100 Jacob Sloan (ed), Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto. The Journal of Emmanuel Ringelblum, New York: ibooks, 
2002, pp.320-1 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Unanimous the reports may have been about the existence of a "bath", there was still 
much confusion about the precise killing method at Treblinka, as Ringelblum's diary entry 
and its smorgasbord of "gas, steam, electricity" indicates. Jacob Rabinowicz's account had in 
fact described gas chambers, even specifying the use of a "diesel" engine. 101 As will be seen 
in Chapter 5, calling the killing engine a "diesel" seems to have been part of the Lagerjargon 
of Aktion Reinhard, a misnomer borrowed from the diesel generator supplying electricity to 
the camp, which was located more or less alongside the petrol driven gassing engine. Thus 
can several inaccuracies be traced back to a similar root cause. 

Another account by a Treblinka escapee written down at this time is entirely ignored 
by Mattogno in his attempt at tracing "the development of the idea of Treblinka as an 
extermination camp", namely the lengthy description given by Abraham Krzepicki and 
recorded by Oneg Shabes activist Rachel Auerbach in October 1942. 102 Krzepicki's report, 
which will be referred to several times in this critique, also identified a gas chamber. As both 
Rabinowicz and Krzepicki had referred to gas chambers, it is mildly hard to understand why 
the long report compiled by Oneg Shabes activist Hersz Wasser on the liquidation of the 
Warsaw ghetto and the extermination camp at Treblinka, dated November 15, 1942 referred 
to steam chambers. 103 But only mildly hard to understand, for steam is, after all, a gas, and it 
is not difficult to see how the anonymous source describing steam to Wasser could have 
deduced that the victims were being killed with steam when witnessing the opening of a gas 
chamber and mistaken the emanation of exhaust fumes from the chamber for a lethal sauna. 

Wasser' s report reached London by January 1943 and was published virtually in full 
by the end of the year in The Black Book of Polish Jewry. 104 It was undoubtedly the source 
for many references to killing by steam appearing outside Poland through to 1945. A 
summary was included in a newspaper article appearing in the New York Times in August 
1943 105 , while another version of the long report was published in Switzerland by Adolf 

101 Rabinowicz's report is published in Ruta Sakowska (ed), Archiwum Ringelbluma, getto warszawskie: lipiec 
1942-styczen 1943. Warsaw, 1980. 

102 Abraham Krzepicki, 'Treblinka', BZIH 43-44, 1962, pp.84-109; on Auerbach's role see Kassow, Who Will 
Write Our History?, pp. 309-11 

103 The Polish original is published in Marczewska/Wazniewski, 'Treblinka w swietle Akt Delegatury', pp. 138- 
145; for English translations, see below. 

104 Apenszlak (ed), The Black Book of Polish Jewry, pp. 141-7. This title can be read free of charge at Hathi 
Trust Digital Library, so will not be reproduced here. 

105 '2,000,000 Murders by Nazis Charged, Polish Paper in London Says Jews Are Exterminated in Treblinka 
Death House', NYT, 8.8.1943, p. 11, citing an article published in Polish Labor Fights on 7.8.1943. Poland 
Fights, a related organisation, recorded the existence of a 'Tremblinka III' for Jews alongside a 'Tremblinka II' 
for Poles in an enumeration of camps in Poland appended to Poland Fights, Oswiecim - Camp of Death, New 
York, 1944, pp. 45-6. The 'Tremblinka' report referencing steam was also published in the Canadian Jewish 
Chronicle, 20.8.1943. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

Silberschein in 1944. 106 Mattogno naturally records all of this and devotes the majority of a 
chapter to reprinting these accounts verbatim. 107 What he does not do is explain why further 
reports on Treblinka written in Poland in late 1942 and 1943 consistently talked of gas 
chambers. Thus, the Pro Memoria report covering August 26 to October 10, 1942 spoke of 
the use of "suffocating gas" at Treblinka 108 , as did the report covering March 25 to April 23, 
1943, while also describing the first measures to erase the evidence of the crime by covering 
the graves in quicklime. 109 

Even if Mattogno or his acolytes were to cling to the repetition of 'steam chambers' 
outside Poland, then they would still be ignoring reports of gas chambers at Treblinka that not 
only reached the outside world, but were also published. One Treblinka escapee, David 
Milgroim, who was deported from Czestochowa in 1942 and broke out of the camp after one 
week, eventually made his way to Slovakia where his report was recorded at the end of 
August 1943, being passed to the OSS in Istanbul by early 1944. no Milgroim's description of 
the killing process was as follows: 

The naked people who were brought there were herded into those barracks, and 
told that they are going to be bathed. When a batch of them is inside, poison gas 
was let in. Those still outside naturally tried desperately to back away when they 
realised what was going on inside. Then the SS and the Ukrainians with their 
bloodhounds went into action and forced them in. The cries we had heard came 
from such crowds at the moment of entering. When a batch was inside the door 
was closed and remained so for fifteen minutes. When it was opened again, 
everyone inside was dead. Now the 500 Jews employed there had to throw the 
corpses into the fire-ditch which stretched beyond the fence into the death-camp. 
Those 500 Jews were in terrible condition of physical and psychic decay. They 
also got very little food, and ten or twelve committed suicide daily. From their 
"work" they all emitted a penetrating cadaverous smell, and it was this smell 
which betrayed our two informants, who were discovered among us and marched 
away by guards. 

An anonymous version of this report was published in January 1944 in the Canadian Jewish 

Chronicle; key lines match word for word, and thus the published version can be firmly 

traced back to Milgroim's report. 111 

In reducing his discussion of the wartime reports to the killing method alone, 

Mattogno also ignores a wealth of evidence concerning the progression of the deportations. 

106 Adolf Silberschein, Les camps d' extermination en Pologne III, Geneva, 1944 

107 M&G, Treblinka, pp.51-64 

108 Sprawozdanie z sytuacji w kraju w okresie 26.VIII-10.X.1942, in Gmitruk (ed), Pro Memoria, p. 273 

109 Pro memoria o sytuacji w kraju Generalnie Gubernatorstwo i Ziemie Wschodnie w okresie 25.III-23.IV.1943 
r., in Gmitruk (ed), Pro Memoria, p. 323 

110 Breitman, 'Other Responses to the Holocaust', p. 51; the report was already highlighted by Hilberg, 
Vernichtung, Bd. 3, p. 1202 n.220. 

111 Canadian Jewish Chronicle, 14.1.1944. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Not all such reports, of course, were always accurate. For example, an account written down 
by a fugitive from Hrubieszow reaching the Warsaw ghetto and archived by Oneg Shabes 
described the Aktion in Hrubieszow at the start of June 1942 in great detail, but stated that the 
deportation went to Belzec rather than Sobibor. 112 Information could be conveyed as a 
mixture of accurate and inaccurate reports. In January 1943, the Delegatura noted accurately 
that "new transports of Jews to their death continue to arrive. For example: on November 20, 
1942, forty freight cars arrived from Biala Podlaska.; on November 21 and 22, every day 
forty freight cars from Bialystok; on November 24, forty freight cars from Grodno. During 
these five days, thirty-two freight cars with Jew's clothing were sent from Treblinka to the 
Reich" but incorrectly stated that "lately there are transports with Jews from eastern Galicia 
and Rumania." 113 By 1943, the Delegatura was routinely identifying deportations, as the 
following excerpts from a weekly report from the end of June 1943 shows. 

Lukow: After a week-long massacre, the liquidation of the ghetto in Lukow 
finally ended in the first days of June. A thousand persons were taken away to the 
camp at Treblinka, a small number of Jews escaped, and 2,000 were murdered on 
the spot.... 

Trawniki: Selections are conducted in the Trawniki camp every few days, and the 
selectees go either to Sobibor or to a peat-cutting about six km from the camp. 
The pit or its surrounding area serve as an execution site for persons deemed unfit 
for work. 114 

Polish underground newspapers reported on the deportation of Dutch Jews to Sobibor 
and Bulgarian Jews to Treblinka in the spring of 1943 115 , while the Pro Memoria monthly 
report for July 26 to August 26, 1943, synthesised information from sources such as the 
weekly report quoted above to note the presence of Dutch Jews in the Dorohucza forced 
labour camp, the same site as the "peat-cutting about six km from" Trawniki mentioned 
above. 116 

Contrary to a rather wild claim by Mattogno, the Polish underground also reported on 
the open air cremations at the death camps. 117 It takes a special effort to ask in regard to 
open-air cremations at Treblinka "how does it happen that there is no mention of this in any 

112 Adam Kopciowski and Dariusz Libionka (eds), 'Zycie i Zaglada w Hrubieszowie w oczach mlodej 
warszawianki', Zaglada Zydow, 2007, pp. 229-240 

113 Aneks nr 45 za czas od 1 do 15.1.1943 r., published in Marczewska/Wazniewski, 'Treblinka w swietle Akt 
Delegatury', also cited in Arad, 'Reinhard', p. 356 

114 Ref.Zeg/IX, Informacja tygodniowa, 30.6.1943, AAN 202/XV-2, fols. 341-42. 

115 Dutch transports: Friedrich, Nationalsozialistischen Judenmord, p. 309, citing Prawda Nr 4, 4.43 (Catholic 
newspaper); Bulgarian transports: ibid., pp. 178-9, citing Dziennik Polski Nr 528, 5.6.1943 

116 Pro memoria o sytuacji w kraju. Generalne Gubernatorstwo i Ziemie Wschodnie w okresie 26. VII- 
26.VIII.1943 r., in Gmitruk (ed), Pro Memoria, p.437 

117 Ibid., p.437. The burning of bodies at Treblinka had indeed long been mentioned in the underground press; 
cf. Friedrich, Nationalsozialistischen Judenmord, p. 178, citing Dziennik Polski Nr 517, 13.5.1943. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

of the reports of the Polish resistance movement?" 118 , and not realise that your own source 
spells it out 119 while the standard work on the Reinhard camps quotes the same point. 120 But 
apparently that is the standard of research and level of accuracy that Mattogno thinks is 
acceptable when discussing this issue. 

Although we could recapitulate even more examples, the essential point has been 
made: wartime reports of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka consistently identified them as 
extermination camps, and such reports reached multiple recipients while originating from 
multiple points of origin. The killing methods were not always clear, but this is unsurprising 
given the organisation of all three camps into 'inner' and 'outer' camps as well as the 
relatively small number of escapees until the revolts in Treblinka and Sobibor during August 
and October 1943. Nonetheless, the preponderance of reports about the killing method 
identified gas or gas chambers. The most prevalent misinterpretations, steam and electricity, 
are not difficult to trace back to plausible origins, namely in exhaust fumes seen from a 
distance and the presence of electricity generators. Above all else, the Polish underground 
was able to track the course of the deportations with considerable accuracy and could observe 
transports entering the camps and not coming out. 

It is not the task of this critique to detail every available wartime report on Belzec, 
Sobibor and Treblinka. It is, however, Mattogno's task, if he wants to stand a chance in hell 
of advancing a coherent explanation for them. Quite possibly, Mattogno might retreat to the 
seeming safe haven of whining that many wartime reports were vague, or lacked this or that 
precise detail, or failed to live up to whatever other exacting but entirely arbitrary standard he 
can think of. The assumption underlying this particular fallback gambit is that there could 
somehow be perfect transparency and clarity of information, and that the inner workings of 
the death camps were somehow on public display and could be described perfectly from the 
get-go. No attempt, of course, is made by Mattogno to justify this assumption, although it 
clearly lurks beneath his presentation of the wartime reports. Inaccuracy or vagueness, 
however, doesn't equal 'hoax' any more than contradiction or anomaly equals 'hoax'. 

On the contrary: the ability of the Polish underground as well as other observers to hit 
the intelligence jackpot and learn such precise details as the presence of Wirth at Belzec in 
the spring of 1942, as well as the week-by-week tracking of developments in 1943, beg 
serious questions about the plausibility of Revisionist claims that reports of extermination and 

118 M&G, Treblinka, p.148 

119 Marczewska/Wazniewski, 'Treblinka w swietle Akt Delegatury', p. 154 

120 Arad, 'Reinhard', p.358 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

gassing in the six camps of Poland where gassing took place can be dismissed as mere 
"propaganda". For the Polish resistance succeeded in identifying not just one or two but all 
six camps as sites utilising gassing. 121 This begs a set of questions which are nowhere even 
vaguely answered by Mattogno, Graf or Kues, starting with: why? If this really was just some 
kind of Polish underground "propaganda", why would they misidentify six camps that MGK 
declare to be 'transit camps' one and all, as death camps? Why would they write false reports 
about camps swallowing up train after train, if in fact there were other trains taking the 
deportees on their merry way to Russia or wherever the hell it is they supposedly went? Why 
would they do so starting from the very beginning of 1942 with Chelmno and Belzec? Why 
did other observers - Jewish organisations in Poland and Slovakia, Ukrainian nationalists and 
churchmen, German officials, Swedish diplomats, the Dutch resistance and so on - also 
receive such reports? Why is there literally no report from this time mentioning trains 
continuing onwards from these specific camps to the occupied Soviet territories en masse? 
MGK's claims are simply wildly implausible. 

The implausibility increases exponentially when one considers the Nazi response to 
the spread of knowledge of the extermination of the Jews across Europe. It is now well 
established that from 1941 onwards, the Nazis said as little as possible about the deportation 
of the Jews in the press, while continuing to pump out antisemitic propaganda and publish 
speeches by Hitler as well as other leaders which proclaimed, time and again, their intention 
to 'destroy' or 'extirpate' the Jews of Europe. 122 Simultaneously, knowledge spread widely 
across Germany and into neutral countries of the mass shootings in the occupied Soviet 
Union, another subject that was taboo in the Nazi press. 123 Knowledge of the 'Riga Bloody 
Sunday' and the mass execution of the Jews of Borisov reached into Catholic and military 

121 Mattogno has elsewhere tried to repeat the same isolationist nitpicking spam-quote routine for Auschwitz and 
Majdanek, utilising Polish publications excerpting reports on the individual camps, most notably the 
compilations 'Oboz koncentracyjny Oswiecim w swietle akt Delegatury Rzadu RP na Kraj', Zeszyty 
Oswiecimskie, 1968, special issue 1 for Auschwitz, as well as Krystyna Marczewska and Wladyslaw 
Wazniewski, 'Oboz koncentracyjny na Majdanku w swietle akt Delegatury Rzadu RP na Kraj,' and Jolanta 
Gajowniczek, 'Oboz koncentracyjny na Majdanku w swietle 'Dzennika Polskiego' i 'Dziennika Polskiego i 
Dziennika Zomierza' z latach 1940-1944,' Zeszyty Majdanka, VII, 1973, pp. 164-241, 242-261. It has evidently 
not occurred to him to examine all the camps in tandem, or if it has, he has realised that doing so would severely 
undermine his methdology of the non-argument argument mixed in with vague conspiracising and arguments to 

122 See on reactions and knowledge within Germany Peter Longerich, 'Davon haben wir nichts gewusst!' Die 
Deutschen und die Judenverfolgung 1933-1945. Munich, 2006; Dorner, Die Deutschen und der Holocaust, 
Frank Bajohr and Dieter Pohl, Der Holocaust als offenes Geheimnis. Die Deutschen, die NS-Fiihrung und die 
Alliierten. Munich: C.H. Beck, 2006; on antisemitic propaganda see Jeffrey Herf, The Jewish Enemy. Nazi 
Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006. All of these 
important studies appeared in 2006-7. 

123 The Reich Press Office ordered on 7.1.1942 that nothing was to be mentioned regarding "the Jewish question 
in the occupied eastern territories". Herf, Jewish Enemy, p. 138 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

circles on the home front with little difficulty 124 , and spread quickly to the wider population 
as soldiers wrote letters home 125 or when they returned on leave. 126 Deserters from the 
Einsatzgruppen even reached Switzerland and recounted their involvement in mass shootings 
in considerable detail to Swiss military intelligence. 127 

The regime response was both belated and transparently nonsensical. On October 9, 
1942, the Party Chancellery sent a circular to offices of the NSDAP with "confidential" 
instructions on how to spin the Final Solution of the "Jewish Question", in which it was 
claimed that Nazi policy, "starting in the Reich itself and then extending into other European 
countries included in the Final Solution," was to move the Jews "into large camps in the East, 
some already in existence, others yet to be set up." 128 This was fine and good, were it actually 
the policy, but in fact, deported Jews were disappearing from across Europe to "unknown 
destinations" where they could not be reached by post or any other form of communication 
and would be reported as "whereabouts unknown." 129 The absence of news from the 
deportees was a major red flag for neutral and Allied observers alike. 130 Thus when reports 
began to roll in of mass killings and extermination, Swiss newspapers asked "are the deported 
Jews being killed?" 131 , and were met with silence from the Nazi press and media. 

Indeed, Goebbels and the Propaganda Ministry were quite clear that they could not 
stem the tide of reports of extermination because they could not provide a plausible alibi, 
cover story or proof-of-life. A conference on December 12, 1942, was devoted in part to 
figuring out how to distract attention from the reports. Goebbels admitted "that we do not 

124 On reactions to the Riga massacre in the Berlin episcopate, see Michael Phayer, 'The Catholic Resistance 
Circle in Berlin and German Catholic Bishops during the Holocaust', HGS 7/2, 1993, pp. 216-229; on the rapid 
spread of knowledge of the Borisov massacre among officers of OKH and OKW, see Johannes Hiirter, Hitlers 
Heerfiihrer. Die deutschen Oberbefehlshaber im Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion 1941/42. Munich: Oldenbourg, 
2006, pp.563-5 

125 Michaela Kipp, 'The Holocaust in the letters of German soldiers on the Eastern front (1939-44)', Journal of 
Genocide Research, 9/4, 2007, pp.601 -615 

126126 g ee tne extens i ve documentation of reports among the German population in Otto Dov Kulka and 
Eberhard Jackel (eds), Die Juden in den geheimen NS-Stimmungsberichten 1933-1944, Diisseldorf, 2004 

127 Einvernahme-Protokoll des deutschen Deserteurs Unteroffizier xyz, 28.2.42, published in Diplomatische 
Dokumente der Schweiz, Bd. 14, Berne, 1997 (doc nr. 296) 

128 Vertrauliche Informationen der Partei-Kanzlei, Folge 66, 9.10.1942, 3244-PS, also published in Peter 
Longerich (ed), Die Ermordung der europdischen Juden, Munich; Piper, 1989, p.433ff. This document is 
quoted verbatim in MGK, Sobibor, pp. 210-212, as if it constitutes actual proof of "resettlement". 

129 FS RSHA IV B 4 A an BdS Frankreich, Betr.: Ausstellung von Bescheinigungen fur Evakuierte, 9.12.1942, 
gez. Eichmann, T/37 (65). 

130 This is very apparent from Jean-Claude Favez, The Red Cross and the Holocaust, New York : Cambridge 
University Press, 1999 (French original 1988). 

131 Toggenburger Tageblatt, 10.10.1942, cited in Dorner, Die Deutschen und der Holocaust, p. 271. On Swiss 
knowledge in general, see Gaston Haas, 'Wenn man gewusst hatte, wass driiben im Reich abspielte'. Was man 
in der Schweiz von der Judenvernichtung wusste 1941-1943. Frankfurt am Main, 1994. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

have all that much to bring forth by way of counter-evidence." 132 The same day, he wrote in 
his diary that 

The atrocity campaign about Poland and the Jewish Question is assuming 
enormous dimensions on the other side. I fear that over time we cannot master the 
issue with silence. We have to have some kind of answer... It is best to go over to 
the offensive and talk about English atrocities in India or the Middle East. 
Perhaps that will get the English to keep quiet. In any case, by doing so, we 
change the subject and raise another issue. 133 

Two days later, Goebbels admitted that "there can be no question of a complete or 

practical refutation of the allegations of anti-Jewish atrocities." 134 The half-hearted denials 

and denunciations of the United Nations Declaration on the Extermination of the Jews, issued 

on December 17, 1942, prompted the following response from the Polish government in 


Sir - In view of the German allegation that the stories of German atrocities, 
published here, are "British propaganda lies", it may be a useful suggestion that 
Mr. Eden should officially challenge Germany to allow a special commission, 
consisting of neutrals and International Red Cross representatives, to visit Poland. 

Let the Germans show to this commission on the spot: (1) Where have the 
millions of Jews been deported to? (2) Where are, and how many are still alive 
out of, the nearly 3,500,000 Polish Jews and between 500,000 and 700,000 Jews 
deported to Poland from other occupied countries during the year 1942? 

Yours faithfully 

Szm. Zygielbojm, 

Member of the National Council of the Republic of Poland 

Stratton House, Stratton Street, Wl 135 
No such international or neutral commissions, of course, ever visited the "large camps 
in the East" which the Party Chancellery had spoken of in October 1942. The sole visit to any 
camp in Poland organised by the Nazis to refute the reports of extermination was in fact 
conducted by a tame Slovakian journalist, who was taken on a tour of the Organisation 
Schmelt forced labour camp complex in Upper East Silesia in December 1942 by Eichmann's 
office. It may need to be pointed out to geographically-challenged negationists that the 
Schmelt camps were to the west of Auschwitz. When in the spring of 1943, the Catholic 
Church in Slovakia began to denounce the deportations of Slovakian Jews and to ask what 
had happened to them, the best that Eichmann and his men could think of was to offer to 

132 Minister Conference of 12.12.1942, published in Willi Boelcke (ed), The Secret Conferences of Dr. 
Goebbels: The Nazi Propaganda War, 1939-1943, New York: Dutton, 1970. 

133 TBJG II/6, pp.438-9 (13.12.1942). 

134 Minister Conference of 14.12.42, published in Boelcke (ed), Secret Conferences, pp. 308-9. 

135 Letter to the Editor, The Times, 20.1.1943, p. 5 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

arrange a visit to the Potemkin ghetto of Theresienstadt, hardly capable of accommodating 
the several million missing deportees. 136 Seventy-eight years after Zygielbojm's letter, we are 
still waiting for a coherent response from Hitler's willing defense lawyers regarding the 
whereabouts of the 'missing Jews', as we will see in Chapter 4. Alas for them, Nazi Germany 
and its apologists forfeited the right to be taken seriously on this question in 1943. 

Investigations and Trials 

If the Hoax that dare not speak its name is already wildly implausible regarding wartime 
reports, it becomes even more ludicrously improbable when we reach the liberation of Poland 
in 1944 and turn to the investigations and trials set in motion in connection to Aktion 
Reinhard. It is virtually an article of faith among Revisionists that these investigations and 
trials were frame-ups and fabrications; even Samuel Crowell resorts to claims of coercion and 
torture by the time he reaches the postwar years. This absolute certainty that all trials were 
show trials is perhaps the one constant feature of negationism since its first stirrings in the 
late 1940s with the writings of Maurice Bardeche. But in more than sixty years of trying, 
Revisionists have consistently failed to explain how it was possible that the Allied powers as 
well as the successor states in Germany and Austria could orchestrate the massive conspiracy 
to distort the truth implied by the term 'show trial'. 

The problem starts with establishing how it was that the liberators knew what shape 
the story would take. Soviet knowledge of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka was in fact 
extremely poor. Few reports on the camps had appeared in the Russian or Yiddish language 
press in the wartime Soviet Union 137 , while the Soviet leadership received vague reports at 
best about the camps. No survivors of the camps reached Soviet lines until the summer of 
1944, precisely at the moment when Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka were liberated. 138 Any 
insinuation that "the Soviets" applied a scripted or preordained propaganda story to these 
camps is refuted by the total absence of any evidence to support such a suggestion. 

Nor were other powers in any position to help script, orchestrate or choreograph the 
investigations. The Polish government-in-exile 's relations with the Soviet Union were 

136 On the visit to the Schmelt camps and proposed tour of Theresienstadt see RSHA IV B 4, Aussiedlung der 
Juden aus der Slowakei - Hirtenbriefe der slowakischen Bischofe gegen die staatlichen antijiidischen 
Massnahmen, 3.6.1943, gez. Eichmann, T/1108. On the reactions of the Slovakian Church see Michael Phayer, 
The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000, p.86ff 

137 Yitzhak Arad, 'The Holocaust as Reflected in the Soviet Russian Language Newspapers in the Years 1941- 
1945'; Dov-Ber Kerler, 'The Soviet Yiddish Press: During the War, 1942-1945' in Robert Moses Shapiro (ed), 
Why Didn't The Press Shout? American & Intrnational Journalism During the Holocaust. Yeshiva University 
Press, Jersey City, NJ, 2003, pp.199-220, 221-249 

138 Karel C. Berkhoff, ' "Total Annihilation of the Jewish Population". The Holocaust in the Soviet Media, 
1941-45', Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 10, 1 (Winter 2009), pp. 61-105. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

severed in 1943 after the revelations of the Katyn massacre, and it neither provided the USSR 
with the intelligence it received on the mass killings in Poland, nor did it provide this 
intelligence to the communist puppet provisional government set up in Lublin in 1944. There 
is no evidence that the full range of wartime Delegatura reports were available in postwar 
Poland during 1944 or 1945, the time-frame of the first investigations of the Reinhard 
camps. 139 Nor were the documents collected by Oneg Shabes available, as the Ringelblum 
archive was buried in two tranches in July 1942 and February 1943, the first was located in 
September 1946, the second, containing critical evidence of the Reinhard camps, was not dug 
up until December 1950. 140 

Any argument insinuating or claiming coercion or 'scripting' is in fact refuted by two 
favourite gambits on the Denier Bullshit Bingo scorecard, namely the repetition of wartime 
hearsay reports of 'electricity' and 'steam' as killing methods in the prosecution case at 
Nuremberg. Both were based exclusively on wartime reports quoted uncritically by 
researchers trying to draft charges for the Nuremberg trial. That they were repeated into late 
1945 and early 1946 is evidence only of a considerable lack of coordination between different 
war crimes investigations. In several volumes of the 'trilogy', Mattogno cites from a report 
drafted in London by Dr. Litwinski in preparation for Nuremberg, and chortles when 
Litwinski repeated the 1942 claim of "electric installations" at Belzec, while the brevity of 
the description of Sobibor provokes more sneering. 141 This merely proves that Litwinski did 
not have access to the full range of information at the time. But the paucity and inaccuracy of 
information in such reports makes it hard for deniers to explain why eyewitnesses 
interrogated by the western powers, such as Gerstein or Oskar Berger, gave detailed 
descriptions of the gas chambers at Belzec and Treblinka if the Allies had such a 
demonstrably inaccurate knowledge of these camps well into 1945. The submission by the 
Polish government of a summary of evidence mentioning steam chambers 142 as well as 
another summary mentioning electric chambers 143 in both cases can be traced back to the 
work of the government-in-exile. 144 Neither report took the slightest notice of either the 1944 

139 The papers of the Delegatura may not even have been made available to the Polish Main Commission until 
mid to late 1947, as a simple comparison of the NTN trials of Rudolf Hoss (March 1947) and the Auschwitz SS 
Staff (December 1947) indicates. Whereas the SS Staff trial evidence included an extensive collection of 
underground reports on Auschwitz, these were not used in evidence in the Hoss trial. 

140 Kassow, Who Will Write Our History?, pp. 1-5 

141 Mattogno, Belzec, p. 75; MGK, Sobibor, pp.67-8. 

142 Charge No.6 of the Polish Government vs Hans Frank, 5.12.1945, 3311-PS, IMT XXXII, pp.154-8. 

143 IMT VII, p.576ff (19.2.1946, presentation of L.N. Smirnov); cf. also the unpublished compendium USSR-93. 

144 Dr. Tadeusz Cyprian, the signatory to 3311-PS, had been the Polish government-in-exile representative on 
the United Nations War Crimes Commission; cf. United Nations War Crimes Commission, History of the 
United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War. London, 1948. Like many 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

Soviet or 1945 Polish investigations into the Reinhard camps, or indeed any other postwar 
investigation. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that the Soviet delegation at Nuremberg 
was largely recruited from the Ministry of Justice while the actual field investigations into 
Nazi war crimes had mostly been carried out by the Red Army or provincial civilian 
authorities, with only minimal assistance from the Extraordinary State Commission. 
Different agencies had not talked to each other properly. 

This demonstrable lack of coordination is perfectly comprehensible to anyone who 
has properly studied the workings of any modern government, but evidently passes unnoticed 
by deniers, who persist time and again in assuming not only that departments communicate 
instantaneously with each other inside one government, but that different governments can 
also do so. At a stroke, it would appear, a significant chunk of the entire discipline of political 
science, much of international relations, institutional sociology and management studies as 
well as a substantial swathe of historiography are effectively thrown in the trash-bin, 
presumably so that deniers can feel they are fighting the good fight against the Borg, or 
Skynet, or some other malevolent entity with a hive mind. Although social scientists and 
historians have filled entire libraries detailing who knew what when inside every major 
government about every major event in modern history, and although the files of the various 
departments and commissions are freely available for all to research, MGK seem to believe 
that they can assert that a particular source or report was definitely transmitted from one 
place to the other without bothering to check to see if there is any proof that this was actually 

We are not, unfortunately, making this up. Both Mattogno and Kues have separately 
asserted that the Gerstein report was a model for Polish investigators allegedly helping 
Rudolf Reder, virtually the only survivor of Belzec, to 'script' his testimony. 146 But this 
claim is immediately refuted by the fact that Reder gave a lengthy testimony to Soviet 

other exiled officials, Cyprian transferred his allegiance to the Lublin government after the western Allies 
derecognised the government-in-exile as the legitimate representatives of Poland in 1945. 

145 On the Soviet delegation at IMT, see Francine Hirsch, 'The Soviets at Nuremberg: International Law, 
Propaganda, and the making of the Postwar Order', American Historical Review, Vol. 113 Issue 3 (Jun, 2008), 
pp. 701-730; on the Extraordinary State Commission (ChGK), see Marina Sorokina, 'People and Procedures: 
Toward a History of the Investigation of Nazi Crimes in the USSR', Kritika 6/4, 2005. pp. 797-831. In the 
experience of the present author after reviewing ChGK files from the RSFSR, Belorussian SSR, Ukrainian SSR 
and in relation to the camps of Auschwitz and Treblinka, as well as Red Army war crimes files, the actual 
'commission' in Moscow did not function as a genuine investigative commission at all, but instead processed 
the results of literally 10s of 1000s of individual investigations launched by local civilian or miltary authorities. 

146 Mattogo, Belzec, p. 40; Thomas Kues, 'Rudolf Reder's Belzec - A Critical Reading', online at 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

investigators from the Lvov oblast procuracy in September 1944 14y , well before Gerstein 
wrote his report. 148 Nor is there any evidence that the Polish Main Commission or the Jewish 
Historical Commission had received copies of Nuremberg documents by the time Reder was 
interrogated for the Polish Belzec investigation of late 1945 149 , or even by the time Reder's 
memoir was published in 1946. 150 Moreover, as Mattogno points out, and will be discussed at 
greater length in Chapter 5, Reder and Gerstein identified the engine type differently. This 
likewise rules out the possibility of collusion or scripting. One wonders what Mattogno thinks 
he gains by shooting himself in the foot like this, unless the mere existence of a contradiction 
exerts such a powerful attraction over feeble conspiracy-addled minds that Mattogno has not 
realised he has destroyed the foundations of his argument. 

Much the same might be said about Mattogno's attempts at exegesis of all early 
eyewitness accounts 151 , as will be seen further in Chapters 5 and 6. So in thrall is he to the 
simple joys of anomaly-hunting that he does not notice that the presentation of conflicting 
eyewitness accounts rules out any suggestion that someone sat the witnesses down and 
scripted them. In which case: from where did the survivors of Sobibor and Treblinka derive 
their descriptions? Did the Soviet investigators corral a random selection of peasants and 
Jewish survivors and enrol them in some sort of ghastly creative-writing contest, giving them 
minimum instructions as to what to say, and allowing them to disagree over the minutiae that 
so obsess Mattogno? Or were these interrogations an early experiment in extrasensory 
perception that went slightly wrong? Was one witness placed in one room and asked to mind- 
meld with another witness who was sitting in the next? We are simply not told. 

For all Mattogno's huffing and puffing, the contradictions in testimonies and 
descriptions of the camps and the killing methods offered by witnesses are nowhere so severe 
that they cannot be explained by the vantage point of the witness - whether they worked in 
the inner or outer camps, and for how long; whether they had learned of the camps directly or 
via hearsay; and whether they possessed sufficient technical knowledge of internal 
combustion engines to know what they had seen. Such knowledge can hardly be taken for 
granted in the somewhat less than motorised Poland of the 1940s. Far from proving a 'Hoax', 
the discrepancies refute the possibility of one. 

147 Prokuratura L'voskoi oblasti, protokol doprosa, Rubin[sic!] Germanovich Reder, 22.9.1944, GARF 7021- 
149-99, pp.16-19 

148 It ought to be rememberd that Gerstein wrote his statement down for the French, not the Americans. See on 
this, in addition to the secondary literature cited in the introduction, the report of US investigators in Gerstein's 
file, NARA, RG 153, Box 91. 

149 Vernehmung Rudolf Reder, 29.12.45, BAL 162/208 AR-Z 252/59, p.1177-1176 (German translation). 

150 Rudolf Reder, Belzec. Krakow: Wojewodzka zydowska komisja historyczna, 1946 

151 M&G, Treblinka, pp. 64-76; Mattogno, Belzec, pp. 35-41; MGK, Sobibor, pp.69-76 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

That is also a conclusion confirmed by the diversity of investigators involved who 
assembled information on the Reinhard camps in 1944 and 1945. Belzec was liberated by 
Marshal Konev's 1 st Ukrainian Front, and this Soviet formation's rear areas were still 
evidently in place in the Zamosc region in time to receive a report in early 1945, shortly 
before the Front liberated Auschwitz during the Vistula-Oder Operation. The report is 
instructive for including an account by Stanislaw Kozak of the construction of the first gas 
chamber building that differs little from his testimony to the Polish Main Commission in 
October 1945. 152 Marshal Zhukov's 1 st Belorussian Front liberated Sobibor , Treblinka and 
Majdanek. Only the investigation of the last site received any reinforcements from the 
Extraordinary Commission in Moscow, and was also the site singled out for full display to 
the world's media. 153 The reasons for this are obvious: not only was Majdanek largely intact, 
but it had been a concentration camp, and had killed both Jews and non-Jews. For all the 
subsequent publicity given to Majdanek, the lion's share of the investigative work, as with 
the later 1 st Ukrainian Front investigation of Auschwitz, fell on the shoulders of the judge 
advocate staff of 1 st Belorussian Front. 154 The crime scenes at Sobibor and Treblinka were 
delegated to subordinate armies, with 47 th Army tasked to Sobibor 155 , while General P.A. 
Batov's 65 th Army investigated the two camps at Treblinka. 156 General Chuikov's 8 th Guards 
Army had additionally filed a brief report on Sobibor, Majdanek and a number of Soviet 
POW camps at the end of July, and also gathered testimonies from villagers in the area 
surrounding Sobibor. 157 

It is obvious from the reports filed by the frontline armies that they had neither the 
resources nor the interest in pursuing a really systematic investigation of any of these sites. 
The striking brevity of the early reports on the Reinhard camps in comparison to the lengthy 
manuscripts compiled on Majdanek and Auschwitz can surely be ascribed in part to a degree 
of disinterest in the fate of Jewish victims. Nonetheless, the reports are also highly revealing, 
with the akt of 8 th Guards Army summarising the testimonies of villagers at Sobibor 

152 Akt o zverstvakh nemetskikh okkupantov v lagere stantsii Bel'zhets, Tomashuvskogo uezda, Liublinskogo 
voevodstva, 25.1.1945, TsAMO 236-2675-340, pp.31-3. 

153 Cf. 'Nazi Mass Killing Laid Bare in Camp', New York Times, 30.8.44, p.l, discussed further in the 
Conclusion chapter below. 

154 Zakliuchenie po delu o zverstvakh i zlodeianikah nemetsko-fashistskikh zakhvatchikov v gor. Liublin, 
TsAMO 233-2374-25, 8.1944, pp.459-488. 

155 Soderzhanie o rezul'tatakh obspedovaniia faktov massovogo istrebleniia naseleniia nemetskimi okkupantami 
v lagere na stantsii Sabibur, 25.8.1944, TsAMO 233-2374-58, pp.225-229. 

156 As has already been mentioned, excerpts of the 65' Army investigation files from Podolsk have been 
published in Sverdlov (ed), Dokumenty obviniaiut. Copies of the investigation were also transmitted to the 
Extraordinary Commission in Moscow (GARF files 7021-115-8, 9, 10, 11 and GARF 7445-2-136). 

157 Spravka o zverstvakh nemetsko-fashistskikh zakhvatchikov, vyiavlennykh na territorii Pol'shi, 29.7.1944, 
TsAMO 233-2374-58, pp.96-98R. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

explicitly mentioning gas as the killing method, and recording how villagers heard the sound 
of the motor followed by the cries of the victims. 158 More striking still is the obvious fact that 
the subordinate armies had no guidance from above that can be discerned, and were reporting 
upwards to the Front. Evidently, Mattogno would have us believe that junior officers - as he 
writes in Treblinka, "First Lieutant of Justice Jurowski... Major Konoyuk, Major V.S. 
Apresian, First Lieutenant F.A. Rodionov, Major M.E. Golovan and Lieutenant N.V. Kadalo" 
- somehow dreamed up the world-beating Hoax all on their own. 159 Moreover, 1 st 
Belorussian Front was hardly the only formation or institution involved in gathering 
testimonies from Reinhard camp eyewitnesses, as the examples of Pavel Leleko (interrogated 
by 2 nd Belorussian Front) and Rudolf Reder (interrogated by the Lwow oblast procuracy, a 
civilian agency) discussed above indicate. 

Needless to say, nowhere do either Mattogno or Graf, the two Revisionist researchers 
who have visited the Moscow archives, present any evidence of top-down or horizontal 
coordination between the different investigations. Indeed, the Extraordinary Commission in 
Moscow increasingly functioned more like a postbox to which reports on war crimes could be 
sent by various agencies and then dropped down the memory hole to be buried in the 
archives. 160 If there is a 'Hoax' in here somewhere, we have yet to see any proof of it, and 
find such an assumption to be hilariously improbable as well as ignorant of Soviet realities. 
Much the same can, of course, be said about the investigations of the Polish Main 
Commission, which will be discussed in their forensic aspects in Chapter 7 and in relation to 
witnesses in Chapters 5 and 6. Any allegation of Polish hoaxing can be safely ignored until 
there is proof of Soviet hoaxing, along with an explanation for the magical transmission of 
data to witnesses interrogated by the western Allies and, of course, an explanation for the 
wartime reports. 

By this stage, roughly by 1946, MGK's "propaganda" allegation has already assumed 
the contours of an Impossibly Vast Conspiracy, unless they are seriously going to try alleging 
Hoax by Telepathy. The inflationary limit of this conspiracy, however, is not really reached 
until Jiirgen Graf attempts to deal with the war crimes trials prosecuted in West Germany, 
Austria, the Soviet Union and Israel from the 1950s to the 1980s in two of the sorriest, most 

158 Akt, 29.7.1944, stantsia Sabibor, TsAMO 233-2374-58, p.131. 

159 M&G, Treblinka, p.77. 

160 See for example the reports on Auschwitz collected in GARF 7021-108-52, sent in by the editors of a wide 
variety of Soviet newspapers and political offices. The Soviet war crimes trial program was moreover rather 
limited, and involved relatively few trials, almost all of which concerned crimes committed on Soviet soil. See 
on this Alexander Prusin, ' 'Fascist Criminals to the Gallows!': The Holocaust and Soviet War Crimes Trials, 
December 1945-February 1946', HGS 2003, pp.1-30. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

bereft chapters in the entire 'trilogy'. Put simply, Graf does not know what he is talking 
about, since nowhere does he bother to cite from a single case file relating to these trials. The 
result is a series of assertions which would be merely risible were it not for the increasingly 
offensive tone of Graf's conspiracising. Not content with simply alleging a frame-up, Graf 
eventually hits the full conspiraloon jackpot by claiming that key witnesses were murdered, 
libelling respected journalists and slandering eyewitnesses by asserting that they had 
knowingly conspired in the death sentences of war criminals, all without bothering to provide 
a shred of evidence and while ignoring nearly everything ever written on these war crimes 
trials, much less their actual transcripts and exhibits. 

Graf wastes no time at the start of his chapter on the trials in Sobibor and immediately 
asserts his first conspiracy theory: 

once the victorious Western Allies had created a puppet state called 'Federal 
Republic of Germany' its leaders ordered the judiciary to fabricate the evidence 
for the mirage of the murder of millions of people in gas chambers, for which not 
a shred of evidence survived - if it ever existed. 161 

Aside from offering a textbook example of assuming the consequent, Graf's wild 

claim is not only unsubstantiated and totally devoid of any evidence to support it, but it is 

also refuted by the actual history of war crimes investigations in West Germany. The origins 

can be traced very firmly back to the desire of many Germans to hold a judicial accounting of 

the crimes committed by the Nazis against Germans. After the International Military Tribunal 

had ruled that it could not judge Nazi war criminals for their actions prior to 1939, 

responsibility for prosecuting crimes against Germans devolved to the restored judicial 

system in the occupation zones, utilising 1871 German law - in other words, using German 

law against German defendants who had committed crimes in Germany against Germans. 

Among the many such crimes which were prosecuted were those perpetrated in the 

'euthanasia' program, which had claimed the lives of several hundred thousand Germans and 

Austrians, 70,000 of whom died in the gas chambers of the T4 "institutes". It was 

unsurprising, therefore, that these investigations and trials soon stumbled across the 

involvement of T4 personnel in the Reinhard camps. 162 In some cases, as with Irmfried Eberl, 

the commandant of Treblinka, the suspects were able to save themselves from the indignity 

of prosecution by committing suicide before they were interrogated in detail about Aktion 

Reinhard. 163 In other cases, such as that of Josef Hirtreiter, an investigation into his role at 

161 MGK, Sobibor, p.171. 

162 See Bryant, Confronting the 'Good Death'; de Mildt, In the Name of the People. 

163 Cf . Grabher, Irmfried Eberl. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Hadamar (he had been arrested on July 2, 1946) soon grew into a separate case, resulting in 
Hirtreiter's conviction for murder at Treblinka in 1951 by the Landgericht at Frankfurt am 
Main. 164 Nowhere is Hirtreiter's name even mentioned in Mattogno and Graf's book on 

Graf's approach to the other two early Reinhard camp trials, of Erich Bauer and of 
Hubert Gomerski and Johann Klier, both in 1950 and both trials focusing on crimes at 
Sobibor, is revealing for its incoherence as well as its dishonesty. In seeking to support his 
assertion that the trial of Gomerski and Klier was "accompanied by a massive campaign in 
the media still under Allied control", he cites precisely one newspaper article from the 
Frankfurter Rundschau, a paper based in the same town as the trial was being held. 165 This 
"massive campaign in the media" evidently did not include either Die Zeit or Spiegel, neither 
of whom ran a single story on the trial. 166 So where are all the stories, Jiirgen? 

Another gambit is to insinuate that Erich Bauer had not been mentioned by early 
witnesses, as if it were necessary for a survivor to know every SS man's name, rather than to 
recognise their face. Typically, Graf highlights Bauer's absence in the testimony of one 
witness while omitting his inclusion in the next statement in his source. 167 Equally typical is 
the obsessive attack on Esther Raab based on her ghosted memoir from 2004, which includes 
misreading easily comprehensible English 168 as well as the following piece of logical 
gibberish. Because Raab implied in 2004 that she was the 'only' witness to Bauer's crimes, 
yet there were seven other witnesses at the trial, Graf is apparently entitled to discredit a trial 
fifty-four years beforehand, and feels entitled to ignore the other seven witnesses since Raab 
is the apparent chief witness, and as is well known, negationist reasoning decrees that it is 
sufficient to debunk one witness in order to debunk the whole. 169 For the Gomerski-Klier 
trial, Graf offers little more than generic arguments to incredulity, on which we need not 
waste any more time here. 170 

Nowhere in his account of either trial did Graf think to cite a work by Dick de Mildt 
appearing in 1996 on the euthanasia and Aktion Reinhard trials, something that would be 
normally regarded as an essential first step for any scholar writing on the subject - namely, to 

164 de Mildt, In The Name of the People, p.249; Justiz und NS-Verbrechen Bd VIII (Lfd Nr 270). 

165 MGK, Sobibor, p. 179. 

166 As can be found out by a simple search of both title's online archives. 

167 Blumental (ed), Obozy, pp.208 (Leon Feldhendler), 214 (Zelda Metz). 

168 See the nonsensical exegesis of the extract from Shaindy Perl's book on MGK, Sobibor, p. 175 

169 Ibid., pp. 174-5 

170 Ibid., pp. 178-182. We examine a paranoid claim by Kues about the Gomerski trial in Chapter 6. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

familiarise themselves with the existing literature. 171 Indeed, he barely scrapes together more 
than a handful of references to the judgement, much less tries to seek out any available 
witness statements from the cases in question. This level of shoddiness is repeated throughout 
his chapters on the Treblinka and Sobibor trials. Nor does Graf bother to consider the 
historical context, which has been amply researched and written about, preferring to 
substitute his own (Horst) Mahleresque fantasy fugue about West Germany as a puppet state. 
Far from being staged as part of an Allied propaganda campaign, the early trials were either 
outgrowths of existing investigations or the result of chance accidents - the recognition of 
Bauer by survivors in Berlin. There is no evidence that, and no rhyme or reason as to, why 
the courts in Berlin and Frankfurt would have been 'persuaded' by the nameless nefarious 
entities of Graf's insinuations to conduct these trials and then not have them widely reported, 
as contrary to his insistence that there was a massive campaign in the media, nothing of the 
sort occurred. Moreover, if in 1950 the Allies were so keen to have West German courts 
chase down Aktion Reinhard SS men, why was nothing more done for nearly a full decade? 

The answer to anyone who actually knows anything about postwar West German 
history is obvious. 172 The Adenauer era tried to 'come to terms with the past' with the 
symbolic gesture of compensation, brought an end to denazification and made it possible for 
former Nazis to reintegrate into society; and then concentrated mainly on commemorating 
German victimhood. 173 The 'cold amnesty' for Nazis, however, ran into continual problems, 
as a string of scandals over the Nazi pasts of senior politicians, civil servants and other public 
figures wracked the media, culminating in the Ulm Einsatzgruppen trial of 1958 and the 
decision to establish the Zentrale Stelle at Ludwigsburg. 174 The Cold War context, especially 
the mutual recriminations and accusations of one Germany against the other for harbouring 
'Nazis', culminating in the German Democratic Republic's 'Brown Book' campaign, was an 
additional major factor. 175 Although the GDR routinely accused the Federal Republic of 
Germany of softness and laxity towards Nazi war criminals, it, too, was quite capable of 
overlooking past misdeeds and had just as mixed a track record of war crimes prosecutions as 

171 de Mildt, In the Name of the People. 

172 A useful overview of the 'second history' of Nazism in postwar Germany can be found in the collection of 
essays by Peter Reichel, Harald Schmid, Peter Steinbach (eds), Der Nationalsozialismus. Die Zweite 
Geschichte. Munich: C.H.Beck, 2009, as well as the monograph by Peter Reichel, Vergangenheitsbewaltigung 
in Deutschland. Die Auseinandersetzung mit der NS-Diktatur von 1945 bis heute. Munich: C.H. Beck, 2001. 

173 Norbert Frei, Adenauer's Germany and the Nazi Past: The Politics of Amnesty and Integration. New York, 
2002; Robert G. Moeller, War Stories. The Search for a Usable Past in the Federal Republic of Germany. 
Berkeley, 2001. 

174 Jorg Friedrich, Die kalte Amnestie: NS-Tater in der Bundesrepublik. Berlin: List, 2007. 

175 Annette Weinke, Die Verfolgung von NS-Tdtern im geteilten Deutschland. Vergangenheitsbewaltigungen 
1949-1969 oder: Eine deutsch-deutsche Beziehungsgeschichte im Kalten Krieg. Paderborn: Schoningh, 2002 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

West Germany. 176 In the end, the decisive factor in the renewed - and sustained - 
prosecution of Nazi war crimes in West Germany was a generational shift, as the so-called 
49ers who had entered adulthood after the Second World War graduated to positions of 
influence and authority, and resolved to come to terms with the Nazi past on their own terms 
rather than the shaky compromise stitched together under Adenauer. The Spiegel affair was 
as emblematic in this regard as the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial. 177 

The Ludwigsburg inquiries 178 which led to the 1960s Aktion Reinhard camp trials 
were part of a systematic investigation of all Nazi war crimes that began in the late 1950s. 
The Zentrale Stelle was organised into a number of Referate or desks, each assigned to a 
particular region or complex of crimes. The Reinhard camps fell under Referat 8, later 208, 
which also investigated other SS and Police units stationed in the Lublin district. By contrast, 
the Radom district was scrutinised by Referat 206. Once the preliminary investigation was 
complete, state attorney's offices became involved in the interrogation of suspects and 
eyewitnesses. A certain number of investigations were additionally delegated to a similar 
central office in the State of North-Rhine Westphalia, which largely bungled the 
investigations of many police battalions, a failure which was severely exacerbated by the old 
boys' network in police and detective forces that resulted in many former Order Policemen 
going scot-free. 179 Nonetheless, there were eventually 131 trials of crimes committed in the 
territory of the Generalgouvernement held in West Germany, of which 10 focused on the 
extermination camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka II and one on the Treblinka I labour 
camp. By contrast, the GDR prosecuted only 8 equivalent cases, of which only one concerned 
the Treblinka I labour camp. 180 A further 28 trials concerned crimes committed in the 
annexed territories, including four trials in connection with the Bialystok district. 181 

Up to 1960, twenty-three trials had taken place in connection with the euthanasia 
program; a further eight cases went to trial thereafter, for a total of 31 euthanasia trials in 
West Germany. 182 As is well known, Aktion Reinhard was where the euthanasia program 

176 Henry Leide, NS-Verbrechen und Staatssicherheit. Die geheime Vergangenheitspolitik der DDR. Gbttingen: 
Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 3. Auflage, 2007. 

177 Christina von Hodenberg, 'Mass Media and the Generation of Conflict: West Germany's Long Sixties and 
the Formation of a Critical Public Sphere,' Contemporary European History 15, 2006, pp. 367-395; on the 
public discourse on the Holocaust in the Federal Republic during the 1960s see Mirjam Wenzel, Gericht und 
Geddchtnis. Der deutschsprachige Holocaust-Diskurs der sechziger Jahre. Gbttingen: Wallstein, 2009. 

178 For an overview, see Weinke, Eine Gesellschaft ermittelt gegen sich selbst. 

179 Stefan Klemp, 'Nicht ermittelt'. Polizeibataillone und die Nachkriegsjustiz - Ein Handbuch. Essen, 2005. 

180 Figures compiled from Justiz und NS-Verbrechen, at http ://www 1 . j ur. unsv/inhaltsverzeichnis .htm 

181 Freia Anders, Hauke Hendrik Kutschr and Katrin Stoll (eds), Bialystok in Bielefeld. Nationalsozialistische 
Verbrechen vor dem Landgericht Bielefeld 1958 bis 1967, Bielefeld, 2003 

182 de Mildt, In the Name of the People, pp.404ff. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

converged with Nazi crimes against Jews in the Generalgouvernement and Bialystok. 
Reinhard men in fact testified in the investigations and trials of other SS and Police units 
which had committed crimes in the Generalgouvernement, as we have already mentioned in 
the introduction. The fact that there were at least 155 trials which related directiy or indirectly 
to Aktion Reinhard naturally goes unmentioned by Graf, although it was quite apparent at the 
time to the Ludwigsburg investigators. 183 

These figures do not, of course, count the numerous investigations that never went to 
trial because the investigation did not find probative evidence that would trigger an 
indictment for murder. West German law, inheriting the provisions of the Wilhelmine legal 
code, required that a charge of murder could only result in conviction if it could be proven 
that the killing had been carried out for "base motives", "bloodlust", "maliciousness" or 
"cruelty". 184 The mere carrying out of executions, even if these were considered illegal by 
postwar courts, did not suffice to convict the perpetrator for murder. Although the defence of 
obedience to orders had been set aside in 1940s Allied trials, it re-entered West German 
courtrooms through the backdoor, as 'obedient' executioners could not be found guilty of 
murder, and courts spent an inordinate amount of time examining whether the perpetrator had 
subjectively felt that they were acting under duress, although no case of an SS man being 
punished for disobeying an order to kill ever came to light. 185 The result was that courts 
convicted the "excessive" perpetrators while giving either derisory sentences to mass 
murderers or acquitting them, and that state attorneys closed out hundreds of cases for lack of 
probative evidence. Thus, although every single office in the civil administration of the 
Generalgouvernement was investigated, only one case produced a conviction and only one 
other case went to full trial, both in the immediate postwar years. 186 

Thus, the number of cases where Aktion Reinhard could have been an issue numbered 
into the high hundreds; literally thousands of West Germans who had served in the 
Generalgouvernement and Bialystok district in the SS, Police or civil administration were 
interrogated in the 1960s either as suspects or witnesses. A substantial number of these 
witnesses admitted knowing that the Reinhard camps were extermination sites, or that the 

183 Zusammenstellung der bisherigen Ergebnisse der Untersuchungen durch die Zentrale Stelle der 
Landesjustizverwaltungen in dem Komplex "Aktion Reinhard", unter besonderer Beriicksichtigung des 
Vernichtungslagers Belzec, 10.11.1960, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd. 4, pp.39-47 

184 Adalbert Riickerl, NS-Verbrechen vor Gericht. Versuch einer Vergangenheitsbewaltigung, Heidelberg, 1984, 
p. 329; for a short summary of the legal issues in Nazi war crimes trials in West Germany, see Helge Grabitz, 
Helge, 'Problems of Nazi Trials in the Federal Republic of Germany', HGS 3/2, 1988, pp. 209-222 

185 Herbert Jager, Verbrechen unter totalitarer Herrschaft: Studien zur nationalsozialistischen 
Gewaltkriminalitat, Frankfurt am Main, 1982 (first edition, 1967). 

186 Roth, Herrenmenschen, pp. 344-387; Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, pp. 351-374 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Jews were being deported to their deaths. Even more admitted to witnessing the mass 
shootings that routinely accompanied the deportations. A German stationed in a provincial 
county capital could hardly avoid encountering the sight of Jews being murdered. 

Graf naturally suppresses this legal and historical context, although he engages in a 
little throat-clearing about "base motives" 187 before advancing his conspiracy theory: that the 
defendants in the Reinhard trials were pressured into admitting extermination and gassing. 
The fact that not one SS man who served at the Reinhard camps denied that they were 
extermination camps evidently does not faze him, as he constructs a convoluted theory 
whereby if defendants had done so, they would have received higher sentences, a claim for 
which he provides not a shred of evidence. Indeed, the best he can come up with is to point to 
the prosecution of Josef Oberhauser in the Belzec trial. Oberhauser refused to testify at the 
trial; which Graf interprets to mean "that he was not contesting the extermination of the Jews 
in Belzec." This putative compliance with the authorities supposedly earned him a four and a 
half year sentence. 188 But Oberhauser had in fact repeatedly testified to events at Belzec over 
a four year period from 1960 to 1964. His refusal to testify on the stand was neither the cause 
of the low sentence nor an Important Clue for Graf to decipher decades later, but simply the 
defence strategy chosen by the defendant and/or his lawyer. Nor is Graf correct to assume 
that other defendants, such as Erich Fuchs at Sobibor, gave testimonies regarding gassings in 
exchange for mild sentences 189 , since West German law did not allow for the possibility of 
plea bargaining. 190 

Nowhere in any of the three volumes of the 'trilogy' do MGK try to prove their 
conspiracy theories and innuendo about backroom deals and leniency awarded on a nod and a 
wink; they do not even try to analyse the cohort of defendants and prove that there is any kind 
of genuine pattern. Such a task would of course be beyond them, as they have evidently not 
read the sum total of witness statements or court testimonies 191 and cannot therefore 
substantiate the insinuation that more testimony about gassing = lighter sentence. Indeed, the 
example of Erich Bauer, given a life sentence for his role as the 'Gasmeister' of Sobibor, 
refutes such an insinuation before it has even left the starting-gate. The number of Reinhard 
camp defendants is sufficiently small that the absence of any attempt at a systematic analysis 

187 MGK, Sobibor, p. 183. 

Laa M&G, Treblinka, pp. 164-5 

189 MGK, Sobibor, pp.183-7 

190 J.H. Langbein, 'Land without plea bargaining: How the Germans do it.' Michigan Law Review, 78 (2) 
(December 1979). 

191 It is not a requirement of West German law to maintain a stenographic protocol of the trial, although this is 
often done. Transcripts of the 1966 Hagen trial of Sobibor defendants definitely exist. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

is a sure sign that all Mattogno, Graf and Kues have are innuendo and hasty generalisations. 
The assertions of Graf and Kues in particular on these trials make a mockery of MGK's 
frequent invocation of 'scientific' rhetoric. For it is a basic rule of any academic discipline 
that conclusions must be based on the most complete data available. With fewer than 40 
Reinhard defendants, there is no justification for sampling - either the entire group is taken 
into consideration, or the assertion falls. 

When turning his attention to trials in other countries, innuendo is literally all that 
Graf has left. In Sobibor, Graf concocts a gold-standard conspiracy theory to insinuate that in 
August 1962, the Austrian judiciary murdered Hermann Hofle, Globocnik's chief of staff in 
SSPF Lublin and the main organiser of the deportations in Aktion Reinhard, and faked the 
murder to look like a suicide. 192 Without so much as bothering to try and source Hofle's 
interrogations or to get hold of the case files in the Vienna archives, Graf rhapsodically 
convinces himself that Hofle was bumped off for refusing to admit to the extermination 
program and that this meant that Hofle "had stolidly maintained in the face of the Austrian 
judiciary that the three camps had been transit camps and that the alleged annihilations were 
nothing but propaganda." 193 Graf evidently thought it acceptable to make such an assertion 
without even trying to check the facts. Alas for his pretensions at scholarly competence, not 
only are Hofle's interrogations available in West German cases, but they were published in 
French translation four years before Graf pulled his conspiracy theory out of his behind. 194 
From these sources it is not difficult to discern that when first arrested and interrogated in 
Austria during late 1947, Hofle lied about his wartime experiences, claiming to have been 
based in Mogilev from 1941 to 1943 195 , and stolidly denied knowing anything when arrested 
and interrogated in 1961, even claiming on occasion to have been mistaken for another 
Hermann Hofle. 196 Hofle was no more about to "spill the beans" on Graf's fantasy transit 
camps than he was going to announce a cure for cancer in the Vienna courtroom. He knew, 
moreover, that there were a great many witnesses fingering him for his involvement in 
Aktion Reinhard, including key members of the SSPF Lublin staff such as Georg Michalsen 
and Hermann Worthoff . 197 From the extant protocols it is quite apparent that Hofle was too 
stupid to ride to the rescue as the saviour of German and Austrian honour and would have 

192 MGK, Sobibor, pp.189-190 

193 Ibid., p.189 

194 Ajenstat/Buk/Harlan (ed), Hermann Hofle. 

195 Interrogation of 18.10.1947 in Ajenstat/Buk/Harlan (ed), Hermann Hofle, p. 23 

196 See the interrogations from July-August 1961 in StA Hamburg 147 Js 7/72, Bd.17, pp. 3216-3327. On 
Hofle's claim of mistaken identity, see also the report in NYT, 22.8.1962. 

197 Many reproduced in Ajenstat/Buk/Harlan (ed), Hermann Hofle; cf. also the Michalsen case in JuNSV Bd. 
XXXIX, Nr. 812; BAL B162/208 AR-Z 74/60. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

simply continued to deny everything implacably while evidence from other witnesses 
accumulated against him, which would have probably resulted in a conviction, even under the 
relatively lenient terms of Austrian law. Hofle' s suicide was nothing more and nothing less 
than the behaviour of a certain type of defendant who feels they are trapped. 

The record of Austrian justice in relation to the prosecution of Nazi war crimes has 
often been criticised for its laxity and inefficiency, and indeed the Hofle case was transferred 
from Salzburg to Vienna because the original prosecutor had a nervous breakdown, while in 
Vienna a backlog of other cases caused an almost glacial progress to the case. 198 Yet the 
Hofle investigation actually led to the arrest, prosecution and conviction in 1966 of SS- 
Unterscharfiihrer Leopold Lanz, a Treblinka I guard. 199 Moreover, there had been a 
considerable willingness through the 1950s and 1960s to prosecute many of the Austrian 
Schutzpolizisten assigned to the Generalgouvernement, in particular the Schupo of the 
Galicia district, resulting in a string of trials that laid bare the brutality of everyday life in 
occupied Poland and recounted numerous mass murders by shootings. 200 

Graf is not, however, content with merely accusing the Austrian judicial system of 
conspiring to murder, he also nauseatingly insinuates that the journalist Gitta Sereny 
poisoned Franz Stangl, the commandant of Treblinka, by bringing Stangl an Austrian recipe 
soup when he was unwell in June 1971. 201 In a classic post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy spun 
furiously into a baseless accusation, Graf notes that the following day, Stangl died, saying 
that "we leave it to the reader to draw his own conclusion from these bare facts." 202 Yeah, 
right: someone is feeling unwell; they are brought a soup to make them feel better, so it must 
be the soup that killed them. And maybe the coroner was paid off by Sereny, too. Or did you 
mean something else, Jiirgen? Are you too chicken to come right out and say that Sereny 
murdered Stangl? Because that's how it reads, and that officially makes you a coward who 
doesn't have the guts to stand by your own convictions, however unfounded they might be. 

198 This is spelled out clearly in Graf's own selectively cited source. Cf. Winfried Garscha, 'The failure of the 
"little Eichmann trial" in Austria', 

199 Eva Holpfer and Sabine Loitfellner, 'Holocaustprozesse wegen Massenerschiessungen und Verbrechen in 
Lagern im Osten vor bsterreichischen Geschworenengerichten. Annaherung an ein unerforschtes Thema' in 
Thomas Albrich, Winfried R. Garscha and Martin F. Polaschek (eds), Holocaust und Kriegsverbrechen vor 
Gericht. Der Fall Oesterreich, Vienna: StudienVerlag, 2006, pp. 104-6 

200 Ibid., pp. 87-126. For the 1950s trials, see also the series of documentary collections published by Tuviah 
Friedman: Schupo-Kriegsverbrecher in Kolomea vor dem Wiener Volksgericht. Haifa, October 1995 (orig: 
1957); Schupo-Kriegsverbrecher von Stanislau vor dem Wiener Volksgericht. Haifa, November 1995 (orig: 
October 1957); Schupo-Kriegsverbrecher von Stryj vor dem Wiener Volksgericht. Haifa, June 1957. 

201 Sereny, Into that Darkness, p. 362. 

202 MGK, Sobibor, pp.191-2. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

Nearly as nauseating is Graf's cursory treatment of the trials of Trawnikis in the 
Soviet Union, based as usual on almost zero knowledge of the cases, something which also 
characterises his frequent diatribes about the Demjanjuk case in Treblinka and Sobibor, 
eventually culminating in a piss-poor chapter-length rant about Demjanjuk's extradition to 
Germany and recent prosecution in Munich. Deriving most of his thin gruel of information 
from websites, Graf cannot resist the opportunity to take another pot-shot at the Russian 
Sobibor survivor Alexander Pechersky, who evidently fulfils much the same function in 
negationist demonology for that camp as Yankiel Wiernik does for Treblinka. Citing 
Pechersky' s testimony at two Soviet trials of Trawnikis in the 1960s, Graf declares that he 
"could thus boast of having brought ten or thirteen men in front of a firing squad and of thus 
having had another man locked up for a decade and a half through his lies." 203 Once again, 
Graf does not even think to find out whether the relevant case files are available. In actual 
fact, copies of a great many Trawniki trials are now freely available in the archive of the 
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and some can also be seen in Ludwigsburg. 
Contrary to the unsourced claim in Barbara Distel's entry on Sobibor in the Ort des Terrors 
encyclopaedia of camps 204 , which is Graf's main source for accusing Pechersky of having the 
deaths of supposedly innocent men on his conscience, Pechersky was a minor part of the 
evidence presented in these Trawniki trials, and thus hardly a 'key witness' as Distel claimed. 

In fact, Soviet investigations of Trawnikis had begun in September 1944, after several 
guards from Treblinka I, including one, Ivan Shevchenko, who had previously served in 
Treblinka II, were captured when attempting to flee after the evacuation of the camp. 205 
Through the remainder of the 1940s, a great many more Trawnikis were identified on the 
basis of personnel files and transfer lists captured in Poland, which thus enabled Soviet 
interrogators to confront suspects with hard evidence of their service in the Trawniki force, as 
well as the Reinhard camps. However, it was also possible for ex-Trawnikis to evade 
detection at this time, since the system of NKVD filtration camps was overwhelmed by its 
task of scrutinising Soviet citizens who were returning from Nazi-controlled territory. 206 
Thus, Yakov Karplyuk admitted in 1961 that "in an effort to conceal my service in the death 
camp in Sobibor, as well as in the Treblinka camp, I provided false statements during the 
investigation in 1949. I falsely stated that after completing training in Trawniki, I guarded 

203 Ibid., p.190 

204 Barbara Distel, 'Sobibor', in: Der Ort des Terrors, Bd. 8, p. 400. 

205 Protokol doprosa, Ivan Semenovich Shevchenko, 8.9.1944, copy in ASBU Donetsk 5734-37834, ppl96-206. 

206 On Soviet trials of collaborators in general, see Tanja Penter, 'Collaboration on Trial: New Source Material 
on Soviet Postwar Trials against Collaborators', Slavic Review, Vol. 64, No. 4. (Winter, 2005), pp. 782-790. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

imprisoned Jews there until November 1943. " 207 In the trials of the 1940s and 1950s, mere 
service at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka did not necessarily result in the death penalty 
(which was in any case suspended in the USSR between 1947 and 1950), but was frequently 
punished by the standard 25 year sentence for treason, although many were indeed sentenced 
to death. Giving false statements in earlier investigations, however, appears to have been a 
major aggravating factor in the sentences meted out in the 1960s trials of Trawnikis. 
Karplyuk was sentenced to death in Kiev on March 31, 1962 along with other auxiliaries who 
had served at Sobibor and Treblinka. 208 

The trial of Shul'ts et al in March 1962 was the culmination of a lengthy investigation 
which encompassed at least 33 volumes of interrogations, documentation and other evidence. 
Many of the accused had been identified by name, and their actions at the camps described by 
other Trawnikis during interrogations dating back to the 1940s. Trapped by the statements of 
their former comrades, the accused were also convicted on the basis of their own 
interrogations. These were not, however, confessions in the cliched sense of the word, as 
Trawnikis continued to deny their own personal involvement in crimes of excess. In 
particular, whether the Trawniki had or had not participated in shootings at the so-called 
'Lazarett' established in each of the Reinhard camps became a frequent focus for Soviet 
judicial attention. 209 

MGK are certainly entitled to assert that all interrogations of Trawnikis were the 
product of some kind of gigantic fabrication exercise, without offering any proof of their 
allegation, but at the cost of excluding themselves from consideration as serious scholars. For 
unless MGK present a systematic analysis of these trials and these interrogations, whatever 
they say will not be grounded in empirical evidence, end of story, and thus need not be taken 
seriously. Not even invoking Stalinist malpractice from the 1930s show trials or pointing to 
known cases of legal abuse in the assembly-line trials of German prisoners of war at the end 
of the 1940s 210 would actually count as relevant evidence, since such assertions would be 
merely an argument by analogy, asserted without checking whether the Trawniki trials were 

207 Protokol doprosa, Yakov Karplyuk, 29.10.1961, Kiev, ASBU Kiev 66437-14-9, p.225. 

208 Protokol sudebnogo zasedaniia, 20-31.3.1962, Voennyi Tribunal Kievskogo voennogo okruga, ASBU Kiev 

209 The preceding remarks summarise the present author's impressions from perusing a large number of 
Trawniki trials from the archives of the Ukrainian SBU, microfiled at USHMM. 

210 Manfred Zeidler, Stalinjustiz contra NS-Verbrechen. Die Kriegsverbrecherprozesse gegen deutsche 
Kriegsgefangene in der UdSSR in den Jahren 1943-1952. Kenntnisstand und Forschungsprobleme, Dresden, 
1996; Andreas Hilger, Ute Schmidt and Giinther Wagenlehner (eds), Sowjetische Militdrtribunale, Bd. I: Die 
Verurteilung deutscher Kriegsgefangener 1941-1953, Cologne, 2001. 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

at all similar. Nor is it up to anyone else to do the work of proving otherwise, as it would be 
their claim, and thus their burden of proof, which has manifestly not been carried hitherto. 

The probability of the interrogations of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka Trawnikis all 
having been coerced is vanishingly low for three reasons. Firstly, the records are too 
voluminous and too extensive, with too many interrogations per suspect. 211 Secondly, 
probably more than one hundred Trawnikis serving in the Reinhard camps were interrogated 
after the war. The sheer number makes a claim of fabrication wildly improbable. Finally, and 
most decisively, the interrogations and trials were given virtually no publicity, the 1940s and 
1950s trials not even seemingly reported in the Soviet press while the large group trials of the 
1960s received at best, passing mentions. As with the wartime reports, MGK cannot label 
these trials as "propaganda" if they were not used as such. 

Indeed, it was not until the 1970s that there was much cooperation between the Soviet 
authorities and war crimes investigators in either East or West Germany, and thus not until 
then that Trawniki statements began to be made available to war crimes investigators in the 
west, in the course of the investigations of Franz Swidersky, a Treblinka I guard, and Karl 
Streibel, the commandant of Trawniki, by the state attorney's office in Hamburg under Helge 
Grabitz. 212 This delay explains why it was not until the 1970s that Nazi collaborators began 
to be investigated in North America, as even had there been a stronger desire to track down 
suspected war criminals before then, the opportunity had not been available, since few knew 
much about the role of the Trawnikis in Aktion Reinhard. 

The first Trawniki case in the United States, the denaturalisation proceedings against 
Treblinka II Trawniki Fedor Fedorenko, proceeded without the benefit of any Soviet-derived 
evidence. 213 In this regard, it stood in relation to the formation of the Office for Special 
Investigations as the Ulm Einsatzgruppen trial did in relation to the establishment of the 
Zentrale Stelle in Ludwigsburg, since the Fedorenko case was already under way by the time 
that the Carter administration ordered the creation of the OSI within the US Department of 
Justice. Throughout his case, Fedorenko never once denied that he had served at Treblinka 
nor that he had witnessed the extermination of Jews there in gas chambers; and had thus 
clearly lied when immigrating to the US in 1949. The first denaturalisation hearing saw a 
number of Treblinka survivors appear as witnesses, unnecessarily as Fedorenko's own 

211 This should be apparent to any sane person reading the summaries in Rich, 'Footsoldiers of Reinhard'; Pohl, 
'Trawnikimanner in Belzec' and Black, 'Footsoldiers of the Final Solution', much less if the case files are read. 

212 For a summary of these cases, see Helge Grabitz and Wolfgang Wolfgang, Letzte Spuren. Ghetto Warschau, 
SS-Arbeitslager Trawniki, Aktion Erntefest. Fotos und Dokumente ueber Opfer des Endloesungswahns im 
Spiegel der historischen Ereignisse. Berlin, 1987. 

213 See the transcript of US vs Fedorenko, June 1978, microfilm copy available at the Wiener Library, London. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

admissions sufficed to prove that he had violated immigration law. His defense, however, 
tried to argue that as Fedorenko had not participated directly in the extermination process but 
merely stood guard in a watchtower, that he should be acquitted, an argument which the 
judge in the first trial accepted, but which was overturned on appeal after the Department of 
Justice pointed out the legal errors in the initial verdict. 214 Fedorenko was then deported to 
the Soviet Union and executed after a trial there in 1987. 215 

The Fedorenko case was fateful for triggering the denaturalisation proceedings against 
John Demjanjuk, after a poorly-constructed photo spread was shown to five Treblinka 
survivors, who identified Demjanjuk as Tvan the Terrible', one of the operators of the 
gassing engine at Treblinka. 216 The first moves to denaturalise Demjanjuk were also made 
before the establishment of the OSI, in 1977, but the case became the major focus of the new 
office through the 1980s, and led to a request for Demjanjuk's extradition in 1983, which he 
appealed in 1985, losing the appeal on October 31, 1985. 217 Demjanjuk was then deported to 
Israel in February 1986, standing trial there from November 26, 1986 to April 18, 1988. 218 

From an evidentiary perspective, the Demjanjuk case, including both his appeal 
against the extradition order in 1985 as well as the trial in Israel, was distinctive in two 
regards. The first was the flawed identification: the entire affair was a case of manifestly 
mistaken identity, whose origins however could easily be traced back to the fact that 
Demjanjuk did indeed look rather like Ivan Marchenko, the real Tvan the Terrible'. 219 The 
second facet of the case was the large amount of evidence provided from the Soviet Union, 
which brought evidence from earlier Trawniki trials into the public domain for the first time. 
Indeed, this evidence made it quite clear that Ivan Marchenko had operated the gassing 
engine at Treblinka, as he was routinely singled out by Treblinka Trawnikis for having 
performed this duty with zeal and sadism. 220 

The Demjanjuk trial must also be regarded as the moment when Holocaust deniers 
began to develop their present obsession with the Reinhard camps. From the writings of 
Rassinier onwards, negationists had really only ever discussed the figure of Kurt Gerstein and 

214 Appeal brief, US vs Fedorenko, Wiener Library. 

215 On legal aspects of the Fedorenko case, see also Abbe L. Dienstag, 'Fedorenko v. United States: War 
Crimes, the Defense of Duress, and American Nationality Law', Columbia Law Review, Vol. 82, No. 1 (Jan., 
1982), pp. 120-183. 

216 On the flawed identification photo-parades, see Wagenaar, Identifying Ivan. 

217 John Demjanjuk v. Joseph Petrovsky, et al, United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. - 776 F.2d 571 

218 On the Demjanjuk case in general, see Teicholz, Ivan the Terrible; Sheftel, Show Trial; as well as the 
succcint summary in Douglas, Memory of Judgment, pp. 185-211. 

219 Wagenaar, Identifying Ivan. 

220 E.g. in Protokol doprosa, Fedor Ryabeka, 25.4.1961, also on 31.8.1961, ASBU Kiev 66437-14-12, pp.21, 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

his visit to Belzec in August 1942, culminating in the excruciatingly irrelevant exegeses of 
the minutiae of Gerstein's statements by Henri Roques in the guise of a mature student 
dissertation for a doctorate passed under dubious circumstances at the University of Lyons-Ill 
in 1985. 221 Until the Demjanjuk case, Revisionism had however extraordinarily little to say 
about Treblinka. The case became the occasion for what might be called the 'forensic turn' in 
negationism and the beginning of its tedious obsession with mass graves. Unsung key players 
were the Polish Historical Society in the United States, led by Tadeusz Skowron and 
Myroslaw Dragan. Stung by the case of Frank Walus, the Polish Historical Society lent its 
support to the legal fight of John Demjanjuk. Established in 1988, the Polish Historical 
Society brought two new twists to negationism. Hitherto, the Revisionist scene had possessed 
few people skilled enough to read or translate East European languages. The second 
innovation was to exploit the use of wartime air photos from the US National Archives, in 
particular those taken by Luftwaffe reconnaissance planes. Around 1990, Polish Historical 
Society provided the ammunition for a slew of negationist texts attacking the historicity of 
the extermination camp of Treblinka. 222 

In parallel to these moves, German Revisionists as well as non-denier supporters of 
Demjanjuk tried to cast doubt on the authenticity of a key but contradictory piece of evidence 
in the case, namely Demjanjuk's Trawniki identity card. This formed one of the main targets 
for several brochures by Dieter Lehner and Hans Rullmann, which both argued in classic 
negationist nitpicking style that 'anomalies' meant the ID card was a KGB forgery. 223 But the 
card in fact specified that Demjanjuk had served at Sobibor , not Treblinka, forcing the Israeli 
prosecution and OSI lawyers to engage in bizarre contortions to explain away the 
contradiction, while Demjanjuk's defenders then contradicted their forgery claim by also 
appealing to the evidence of the posting to Sobibor in order to acquit Demjanjuk (rightly) of 
the charge of being 'Ivan the Terrible' at Treblinka. 

221 On the Roques affair, see Henry Rousso, Commission sur le racisme et le negationnisme a l'universite Jean- 
Moulin Lyon-III (2004), publics/044000492/index.shtml . 
~ 22 The debt to the Polish Historical Society for sourcing and copying the air photos of Treblinka is explicitly 
acknowledged in all these texts. See Udo Walendy, 'Der Fall Treblinka', Historische Tatsachen Nr. 44, 1990; 
Mark Weber and Andrew Allen, 'Treblinka: Wartime Aerial Photos of Treblinka Cast New Doubt on "Death 
Camp" Claims', Journal for Historical Review, 12/2, 1991, pp. 133-158; Tadeusz Skowron, Amicus Curiae 
Brief, Polish Historical Society, Stamford, CT, 1992, http://www.vho.Org/GB/c/AmicusCuriaeDemjaniuk.html ; 
Dr. Christian Konrad [=Germar Rudolf], 'Polnische Historiker untersuchen angebliches Vernichtungslager. 
Demjanjuk- Verfahren fahrt zu Treblinka-Kontroverse', Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart 41/3, 1993, 
p.23ff; Arnulf Neumaier, 'Der Treblinka Holocaust' in: Ernst Gauss [=Germar Rudolf] (ed), Grundlagen zur 
Zeitgeschichte, Tubingen, 1994, pp. 347-374. 

223 Dieter Lehner, Du sollst nicht falsch Zeugnis geben, Berg am Starnberger See: Vowinckel, 1987; Hans Peter 
Rullmann, Der Fall Demjanjuk. Unschuldiger oder Massenmorder?, Viol: Verlag fur ganzheitliche Forschung 
und Kultur, 1987. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Graf, needless to say, repeats the old 1980s allegations that the ID card was a forgery 
in numerous places across the 'trilogy' 224 , reiterating what is evidently a Revisionist article of 
faith. 225 Indeed, the forensic claims of document experts seeking to prove the card to be a 
forgery have become legendary examples of misinterpreted scientific evidence, while the 
analyses of the content of the document betray a total lack of understanding for the historical 
context. 226 The forgery claims also totally ignore eight other pieces of documentary evidence 
which place Demjanjuk at Trawniki and Sobibor. 227 By repeating the forgery meme in 2010, 
Graf merely exposes himself as ignorant of the counter-arguments and counter-evidence, and 
thus confirms his reputation as the sloppiest of sloppy researchers of the three co-authors of 
the 'trilogy'. 

That the Demjanjuk case in the 1980s was a miscarriage of justice is not in reasonable 
dispute. The entire saga has dragged on for so long that one can be critical of its pursuit into 
the 2000s, without needing to endorse the conspiracy theories of Graf and co. Demjanjuk's 
renewed denaturalisation in 2003 228 and his extradition to Germany in 2009 to stand trial in 
Munich, resulting in his conviction in May of this year 229 , can indeed be criticised on a 
variety of grounds, not least of which is the discomfort in pursuing war criminals until they 
are in their 90s. But we regard Graf's argument that the Demjanjuk trial in Munich was 
staged for "the promotion of the 'Holocaust' hysteria" 230 or to distract from the Israeli 
incursion into the Gaza strip in 2008/2009 231 as fundamentally batty. Far from demonstrating 
"the proverbial servility of the German puppet state towards Israel and Zionist 
organizations", the Demjanjuk case in Munich has been criticised as the result of 
prosecutorial grandstanding by the Zentrale Stelle in Ludwigsburg Munich state attorney's 
office. It may well be that Graf requires a refresher lesson in the doctrine of the separation of 
powers between the judiciary, legislature and executive. As hard as it may be for Graf to 

224 M&G, Treblinka, p. 173; MGK, Sobibor, pp.9, 382-3. 

225 Cf. Richard A. Widmann, 'The Strange Case of John Demjanjuk', Inconvenient History 3/2, 2011, 3/number 2/the strange case of John demjanjuk. p 

226 Cf . Joe Nickell, Unsolved History: Investigating Mysteries of the Past, The University Press of Kentucky 
2005, pp. 34-50. 

27 This evidence is summarised by Sergey Romanov, 'Demjanjuk and Holocaust Deniers', HC, 5.2006, and 
thus need not be repeated here, 
deniers-part-i.html . 

228 See Demjanjuk vs Petrovsky, US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 10 F.3d 338, 17.11.1993, 
http://nizkor.Org/hweb/people/d/demianiuk-iohn/circuit-court/ as well as 

229 For the latest accounts of the Demjanjuk case, see Wefing, Der Fall Demjanjuk; Benz, Der Henkersknecht. 

230 MGK, Sobibor, pp.390 

231 Ibid., p.397 


The Hoax That Dare Not Speak Its Name 

grasp this, judicial authorities in Germany have the power to place a cause celebre on the 
front pages of the world media without reference to any council of the Elders of Zion. 

Thus ends our survey of the implied and overt conspiracy theories peddled by Mattogno, Graf 
and Kues about the "origins" and "evolution" of the supposed "propaganda myth" of mass 
extermination at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. Although we do not doubt that MGK may 
well seriously believe what they are writing in this regard, nowhere in their arguments do we 
find anything that remotely resembles a coherent, substantiated explanation for the totality of 
the evidence contained in the wartime reports or the postwar investigations and trials. And 
although we do not doubt that the Hoax that dare not speak its name will continue to feature 
in their writings, we hereby put them on notice that their "work" has been weighed in the 
balance and found wanting. Either put up, by going back to the library and archives and 
finding some evidence for your silly conspiracy theories, or shut up. 


Chapter 2 

Nazi Policy 

Mattogno's policy contributions to the trilogy are the result of a writing career on the topic 
that stretches back to the 1980s. 1 It is therefore instructive to contrast his lack of progress 
with the advances that have been made in the proper historiography. Scholars such as 
Browning, Gerlach, Kershaw and Longerich 2 have produced a body of work which 
recognizes that the decision-making that produced and implemented the Final Solution was 
"an incremental process, with a number of acceleratory spurts, between summer 1941 and 
summer 1942" rather than one that required a single, explicit written order that was 
unchanging thereafter. 3 Mattogno, by contrast, is still wading in the shallows, unable to swim 
with the tide of scholarship, because he is wedded to false dilemmas, fixed thresholds and 
fallacies of the excluded middle, which lead him to insist that an extermination never took 
place unless a single decisive written order can be established that was issued by a fixed date, 
namely the end of September, 1941. 

Mattogno's work is therefore a dual negation because, whereas other Holocaust 
deniers focus on textual misrepresentation, and fixate on technical minutiae, Mattogno adds 
to that mix a falsification of the discussion that has taken place within historiography during 
the last three decades. Mattogno has partially shifted the focus of negationism from 'lying 
about Hitler' and the Nazi regime to 'lying about Hilberg' and his academic successors. 

1 Carlo Mattogno, 'The myth of the extermination of the Jews: Part I', The Journal of Historical Review 8/2, 
1988, pp. 133-172; Carlo Mattogno, La soluzione finale. 

2 Christopher R. Browning, The Path To Genocide. Essays on the Launching of the Final Solution. Cambridge, 
1992, p. 114; Christian Gerlach, 'The Wannsee Conference, the Fate of German Jews and Hitler's Decision in 
Principle to Exterminate All European Jews,' The Journal of Modern History 70/ '4, December 1998; Ian 
Kershaw, 'Hitler's Role in the Final Solution', Yad Vashem Studies 34, 2006, pp. 7-43; Peter Longerich, The 
unwritten order: Hitler's role in the final solution. Stroud, 2001; Gerhard Feldman and Wolfgang Seibel (eds), 
Networks of Nazi Persecution. Bureaucracy, Business and the Organization of the Holocaust. New York: 
Berghahn, 2004; Michael Thad Allen, 'Not Just a 'Dating Game': Origins of the Holocaust at Auschwitz in the 
Light of Witness Testimony', German History 25/2, 2007, pp. 162-191; Peter Witte, 'Two Decisions Concerning 
the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question". Deportations to Lodz and Mass Murder in Chelmno', in David 
Cesarani and Sarah Kavanaugh (eds), Holocaust. Critical Concepts in Historical Studies, Volume 3. London, 
2004, pp.48-49. 

3 Kershaw, 'Hitler's Role', p. 24. Online: holocaust/studies/vol34/Kershaw%20E.pdf . 


Nazi Policy 

Mattogno's writings on Nazi policy ignore the fact that the evolution of a Europe- 
wide Final Solution from September 1941 was predicated on the fact that an extermination of 
Soviet Jews was already in motion, the foundations of which were laid during the planning of 
Operation Barbarossa. Plans were already submitted prior to June 22, 1941, which entailed 
the mass starvation of civilians and the political killing of male Jews, which then escalated 
into a decision to kill all Soviet Jews that was taken by the end of July. This also inevitably 
fed into deportation policy because designers such as Globocnik knew that Jews were to be 
deported into areas where the existing Soviet Jews were being exterminated. Evacuation 
plans made increasing reference to 'reprisals' and 'decimation', which would have brought 
about gradual extermination by a variety of means (starvation, shootings, pogroms, disease, 
etc). Extermination policy therefore evolved from evacuation measures that already contained 
exterminatory components. The radicalization from such measures to a policy that included 
homicidal gas chambers could be achieved by evolution, because Nazi Jewish policy no 
longer required a massive moral leap once it was already intended that millions would die. 

Mattogno's neglect of the literature on these facts makes his chapters on deportation 
policy meaningless because they fail to consider why Jews would be resettled from 
September 1941 into areas where the existing Jews were being exterminated. For example, 
section 8.1 of Sobibor is a series of unfounded assumptions and fallacies of the excluded 
middle concerning the historiography of Hitler's decision-making during 1941. Mattogno is 
deeply unhappy that many historians no longer rely upon a single Hitler order, so he pretends 
that all such historiography "borders on parapsychology." 4 

This pretence in turn relies upon three incorrect assumptions. Firstiy, Mattogno 
asserts that, if the historiography were true, there would have had to be a single moment 
when "the policy of emigration/evacuation was abandoned in favour of extermination." This 
is a fallacy of the excluded middle because it ignores the fact that radicalization from 
deportation plans that were already decimatory to a policy that included homicidal gas 
chambers could be achieved by evolution, because it did not require the massive moral leap 
that Mattogno would like his readers to assume. 

Secondly, Mattogno ignores numerous statements by senior Nazi figures referring to 
Hitler speeches and table talk that show a progressive radicalization of his intentions. 
Rosenberg and Goebbels understood in December 1941 that Hitier's intentions were more 
radical than they had assumed just months earlier. These written responses to Hitler's 

4 MGK, Sobibor, p.236. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

expressions of intent clearly show that Hitler's desires could be communicated to his inner 
circle without the need for an order. 

Thirdly, the assumption of a false dichotomy between orders and 'parapsychology' 
ignores the ways in which historians have advanced their understanding of decision-making, 
not just with regard to the Third Reich but to all complex organizations. The relationship 
between centre and periphery is no longer viewed as always dominated by the former, but is 
instead understood by many historians to be a network of proposals, counter-proposals and 
requests for radical measures to resolve local problems. 

Furthermore, Mattogno himself gives importance to consensual decision-making 
below Fiihrer level when it suits his purposes to do so. Nearly all the policies proposed by 
Mattogno in Chapter 7 of Sobibor are driven by Hitler's underlings, who seem to be 'working 
towards the Fiihrer' rather than in response to his orders; for example, Mattogno's discussion 
of the Madagascar Plan never goes higher than Ribbentrop and Heydrich. Mattogno also in 
that chapter gives importance to actors on the periphery such as Zeitschel, to the extent that 
he argues that "Zeitschel's proposal was thus accepted some months later by Hitler himself." 5 
Mattogno is willing to entertain consensual decision-making below Fiihrer level, and 
processes in which Hitler gave his consent to proposals from elsewhere, when the subject is 
evacuation, but not for major killing actions. This double standard suggests that his 
assumptions are held for the sake of political convenience. 

Mattogno also fails to consider other policies that did not require a written order. In 
September 1940, for example, Brandt and Bouhler obtained Hitler's verbal authorization for 
extralegal abortions. This was implemented by the RMdl two months later. 6 A year later, the 
Reich Ministry of Justice requested a meeting with the RMdl and the Fiihrer' s Office to 
clarify Hitler's authorization. This was held on November 26, 1941. The Ministry noted 
afterwards that "The Fiihrer's Office is of the opinion that it is not the right time to ask the 
Fiihrer to put the authorization in writing. It is certain that the Fiihrer stands by this 
authorization." We thus have documentary proof that Hitler's Office was protecting the 
Fiihrer from having to issue written orders on subjects that were socially and politically 
controversial during the period when the extermination of the Jews was being decided. 
Extermination would clearly have fallen into that category of subject. 

5 M&G, Treblinka, p.114. 

6 Gotz Aly, Peter Chroust and Christian Pross, Cleansing the Fatherland. Nazi Medicine and Racial Hygiene. 
London and Baltimore, 1994, p. 54, citing Geheimerlass des Reichsministerium des Inneren, 19.11.40, and 
Reichsjustizministerium note, 26.11.41, both held in BAK, R 22/5008. 


Nazi Policy 

Mattogno's summary of the historiography since 1984 is taken entirely from a paper 
by Kershaw that is available online. The historians cited by Kershaw have not been read by 
Mattogno in relation to this issue. Mattogno ignores Kershaw's caveat that the term 
'FuhrerbefehF can be understood in different ways, not necessarily a "precise and clear 
directive" but also as merely a "green light" to proposals from others. 7 Browning's 
formulation regarding the summer of 1941 actually uses the term "green light": 

Having received the "green light" from Hitler to prepare what was in effect a 
"feasibility study" for the Final Solution", Heydrich drafted his famous 
"authorization" to prepare and submit a plan for the "total solution" of the Jewish 
Question in Europe. He then visited Goring on July 31 and obtained the latter's 
signature. 8 

This is clearly a different scenario from Mattogno's single moment when "the policy 
of emigration/evacuation was abandoned in favour of extermination." Browning does not 
state that all evacuation plans halted at that moment. Instead, according to Browning, there 
were clearly two overlapping processes, in which the feasibility study was occurring 
alongside the old policy, which would not be abandoned until all contingencies and 
feasibilities had been determined. 

Mattogno's claim that "as of 2005 the controversy around the Fuhrerbefehl was not 
only unresolved but continued to rage to a greater degree" 9 is utter nonsense. Most of the 
literature reviewed in Kershaw's article was written in the 1990s or earlier. Browning and 
Gerlach have not published new work on the subject recently. Their most recent research has 
been on labour camps and comparative violence respectively, reflecting the concerns of 
present-day history departments. 

The sections that make up this chapter discuss the policy decisions and documents 
that are neglected and/or distorted by Mattogno in pursuit of his false assumptions. The first 
section examines the extermination of Soviet Jews that set the precedent for a Europe-wide 
extermination. The subsequent sections look at the decision-making that led to extermination 
decisions regarding Jews across Europe. It should be noted from the outset that we argue for 
a process of gradual radicalization during this period. The feasibility of extermination was 
being studied from July 1941, as per Browning's formulation, and Hitler gave his consent to 
the implementation of extermination before the end of 1941 (we argue for December as the 

7 Kershaw, 'Hitler's Role', p. 25. 

8 Browning, Path, p. 114. 

9 MGK, Sobibor, p.229. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

month), but the implementation itself depended on other decisions made in the first seven 
months of 1942. 

Furthermore, we argue that extermination decisions in 1941 followed different 
timelines for Soviet and non-Soviet Jews. Preparations for Barbarossa included long-term 
plans to starve millions of Soviet Jews and short-term plans to shoot Jewish males who held 
suspected political positions. These plans were replaced in July by the demand to alleviate 
pressures on food supplies by killing "useless eaters", namely unfit Jews, whilst placing 
working Jews in conditions where they would gradually die from hard labour. In December, 
it was clarified further that Soviet Jews would be killed regardless of economic 
considerations. Intentions towards non-Soviet Jews initially included sterilization and 
deportation to a harsh climate that would induce a dying out. By August 1941, this had been 
reformulated into a more explicit language of reprisals, whereby deported Jews would be 
"worked over in the harsh climate." This language informed plans to deport Reich Jews to the 
East. In December, however, the language of reprisals gave way to explicit extermination 
across Europe. 

The implementation of the decision from January 1942 was not linear but required 
instead later decisions about how and when working Jews would be killed. Industrialists and 
the Wehrmacht had labour needs that frustrated SS attempts to complete the extermination 
before Germany's impending military defeat enabled a small number of Jews to survive. 

Extermination of Soviet Jews, June 1941-March 1942 

During the planning stages for Operation Barbarossa, Nazi food policy was linked to plans 
for large-scale political killing. On May 2, 1941, a conference of state secretaries, chaired by 
Thomas, had concluded that "umpteen million people will doubtless starve to death, if we 
extract everything necessary for us from the country." 10 The selection of these starvation 
victims would follow a political economy of racial value, but would also be shaped by a 
political-ideological-racial belief that the enemy was the 'Jewish-Marxist.' Rosenberg 
recognised this linkage when he wrote, on May 8, 1941, that the war would be: 

[a] fight for the food supply and raw materials for the German Reich as well as 
for Europe as a whole, a fight ideological in nature in which the last Jewish- 

10 Aktennotiz iiber Ergebnis der heutigen. Besprechung mit den Staatssekretaren iiber Barbarossa, 2.5.41, 2718- 
PS, IMT XXXI, pp.84-85; cf. Alex J. Kay, 'Germany's Staatssekretare, Mass Starvation and the Meeting of 2 
May 1941', Journal of Contemporary History, AHA, October 2006, pp.685-700. 


Nazi Policy 

Marxist enemy has to be defeated. 11 
The specific demographic consequences anticipated in this planning were spelled out 
in a report by the Agriculture Group on May 23, 1941, based on recommendations by Backe. 
The USSR would be split into two (a productive and an unproductive zone) and surplus 
populations redirected to Siberia, even though "railway transportation is out of the question": 

There is no German interest in maintaining the productive capacity of these 
regions, also in what concerns the supplies of the troops stationed there. [...] The 
population of these regions, especially the population of the cities, will have to 
anticipate a famine of the greatest dimensions. The issue will be to redirect the 
population to the Siberian areas. As railway transportation is out of the question, 
this problem will also be an extremely difficult one. n 

The report then admitted that "Many tens of millions of people will become 
superfluous in this area and will die or have to emigrate to Siberia." The document tellingly 
referred to these groups as "useless eaters", a phrase originally used to justify killing the 
mentally ill in the T4 program, thereby confirming that euthanasia terminology had spread to 
these planners. However, if there was no rail transport to take them to Siberia, the latter 
option was already a dubious one, so this document could be viewed as an early admission 
that death was at the forefront of Nazi intentions for the Soviet population, with Jews at the 
front of the queue. This is further confirmed by a document by Engelhardt 13 , which included 
a table of nationalities by town and country in Belorussia, on which Waldemar von Poletika 
had underlined Jews, Russians and Poles and added a marginal note saying 'starve!' Another 
part of the same text had a marginal note by von Poletika saying that a population of 6.3 
million people would die. 

Hunger planning was reiterated after the invasion. On August 14, 1941, Goring 
"reckoned with great loss of life on grounds of nutrition." 14 On November 13, 1941, Wagner 
confirmed that "non-working prisoners of war in the prison camps are to starve." 15 In 
November, Goring told the Italian Foreign Minister, Ciano: 

11 Rosenberg, Allgemeine Instruktion fur alle Reichskommissare in den besetzten Ostgebieten, 8.5.41, 1030-PS, 
IMT XXVI, pp.576-80. 

12 Wirtschaftspolitische Richtlinien fur die Wirtschaftsorganisation Ost vom 23.5.1941, erarbeitet von der 
Gruppe Landwirtschaft, 23.5.41, EC-126, IMT XXXVI, pp.135-57. 

13 Eugen Freiherr von Engelhardt, Ernahrung- und Landwirtschaft, p. 11, NARA T84/225/1595914. Document 
was first discussed in Bernhard Chiari, 'Deutsche Zivilverwaltung in Weissrussland 1941-1944. Die lokale 
Perspektive der Besatzungsgeschichte', Militdrgeschichtliche Mitteilungen 52, 1993 and most extensively in 
Christian Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde. Die deutsche Wirtschafts- und Vernichtungspolitik in WeiEruEland 1941 
bis 1942. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1999, pp.57-8. 

14 Verbindungsstelle d. OKW/WiRiiAmt beim Reichsmarschall, Wirtschaftsauszeichungen fur die Berichtszeit 
vom 1-14.8.41 (u.fruher), NARA T77/1066/1062; cf. Christopher R. Browning, A Reply to Martin Broszat 
regarding the Origins of the Final Solution', Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual 1, 1984, pp. 113-32. 

15 AOK 18 Chef des Stabes, Merkpunkte aus der Chefbesprechung in Orscha am 13.11.41, NOKW-1535. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

This year, 20 to 30 million people will die of hunger in Russia. Perhaps it is a 
good thing that this is happening, because certain peoples must be decimated. 16 

During the summer of 1941, starvation policy was conjoined with a more active 

shooting policy, partially justified by the concept of reprisal and partly by a conflation of all 

male Jews with Bolshevism. In March 1941, Goring had told Heydrich to draft a warning to 

the troops "so that they would know whom in practice to put up against the wall." 17 On June 

17, 1941, Heydrich held a meeting with the unit commanders of the Einsatzgruppen in Berlin, 

giving instructions for the units to follow after the invasion. On July 2, 1941, he passed on a 

summary of these instructions to the four HSSPF. He explicitly listed "Jews in party and state 

positions" as a group to be executed, and also called for the incitement of pogroms, 

euphemistically dubbed "self-cleansing attempts" (Selbstreinigungsversuchen), but "without 

trace" (spurenlos) of German involvement. 18 These instructions placed all Jewish men in 

peril, especially those within pre-1939 Soviet borders, whom Nazi ideology automatically 

assumed to be Bolsheviks. Among the first men in the firing line were any educated Jewish 

males, such as the Lwow males killed in the "intelligentsia action" of early July. 

Einsatzgruppe C reported "Leaders of Jewish intelligentsia (in particular teachers, lawyers, 

Soviet officials) liquidated." 19 Einsatzgruppe B noted that "In Minsk, the entire Jewish 

intelligentsia has been liquidated (teachers, professors, lawyers, etc. except medical 

personnel)." 20 Lutsk, Ukraine, witnessed an early example of the hugely disproportionate 

application of reprisals: 

On July 2 the corpses of 10 German Wehrmacht soldiers were found. In 
retaliation, 1160 Jews were shot by the Ukrainians with the help of one platoon of 
the police and one platoon of the infantry. 21 

The Germans did not recognize the concept of 'proportionality' that applies to 

reprisals in international law, which requires that "Acts done by way of reprisals must not, 

however, be excessive and must not exceed the degree of violation committed by the 

enemy." 22 By October, one military leader, Reichenau, was calling for a "tough but just 

16 Czeslaw Madajczyk (ed), 'Generalplan Ost', Polish Western Affairs III/2, 1962, pp. 391-442. 

17 Browning, Path, p.236, citing Secret file note Heydrich (CdS B Nr. 3795/41), 26.3.41, RGVA 500-3-795, 
fols. 140-42. 

18 Heydrich an Jeckeln, von dem Bach-Zelewski, Priitzmann, and Korsemann, 2.7.41, RGVA 500-1-25; cf. 
Peter Klein, ed. Die Einsatzgruppen in der besetzten Sowjetunion 1941/42. Die Taetigskeits-und Lageberichte 
des Chefs der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD. Berlin: Edition Heinrich, 1997, pp. 319-28. 

19 EM 13, 5.7.41. 

20 EM 32, 24.7.41. 

21 EM 24, 16.7.41. 

12 Michael A. Musmanno, U.S.N.R, Military Tribunal II, Case 9: Opinion and Judgment of the Tribunal. 
Nuremberg: Palace of Justice, 8.4.48, pp. 106-108, citing the British Manual of Military Law, paragraph 459. 


Nazi Policy 

atonement of Jewish Untermenschentum." 23 Nazi desires to wreak vengeance against Jews 
therefore converged, in the East, with a military culture in which vengeance actions were 
already inclined to seek unlimited total solutions. 24 This context is totally ignored by MGK, 
and systematically misrepresented by deniers who discuss reprisal policy. 25 

As a result of this vengeance culture, in addition to the central momentum of 
Heydrich's pre-war orders, but without a general extermination order for the Jewish 
population prior to the invasion, anti- Jewish measures in the Soviet Union were driven by 
locally initiated ad-hoc killings for the first months of the occupation, characterized by a high 
degree of co-operation between the Wehrmacht and the SS. 26 For example, the northern 
sector of the occupied territories, an area patrolled by Franz Stahlecker's Einsatzgruppen A, 
and under the responsibility of HSSPF Hans Adolf Priitzmann, became the source of a crucial 
local initiative. After a fifteen hour battie over the small Lithuanian border town of Garsden, 
which cost the lives of around 100 German soldiers, the German border police unit "Stapo 
Tilsit" and the Tilsit-SD (security police) contingent moved into the area. As the town's Jews 
were accused of aiding the Soviet troops during the battie, police leader Hans-Joachim 
Bohme and SD-commander Werner Hersmann ordered the arrest of 201 Jews on June 23, and 
immediately sought their execution. Following a discussion with Stahlecker, who gave his 
"basic agreement concerning the cleansing operation", the next day (June 24) the 201 Jews, 
including a woman, were executed. Following their work in Garsden, Bohme' s newly titled 
"Einsatzkommando (EK) Tilsit" conducted similar killings, predominantly of Jews, in the 
nearby towns of Krottingen (June 25, 214 people) and Polangen (June 27, 111 people); both 
were reprisal measures for guerrilla activities. 27 Heydrich and Himmler, in their June 30 tour 
of Grodno, "approved in full" the measures of EK Tilsit. 28 By July 18, EK Tilsit had 
murdered 3,302 victims (mostly military-aged Jewish men) in their border-area cleansing 

23 AOK 6 Verhalten der Truppe im Ostraum, 10.10.41, published in Gerd R. Ueberschar and Wolfram Wette 
(eds), "Untemehmen Barbarossa". Der deutsche Uberfall auf die Sowjetunion. Frankfurt am Main, 1991, 

24 Isabel V. Hull, Absolute Destruction. Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany. 
London, 2005. 

25 For an attempt by two deniers to whitewash the reprisal policy, falsely claiming that "most of the German 
reactions were totally covered by international law", see 'Dipl.-Chem.' Germar Rudolf and Sibylle Schroder, 
'Partisan War and Reprisal Killings', The Revisionist 1/3, 2003, pp. 321-330: 
http://www.vho.Org/tr/2003/3/RudolfSchroeder321-330.html . 

26 For overviews of Wehrmacht-SS cooperation, see Johannes Hiirter, Hitlers Heerfuhrer.Die deutschen 
Oberbefehlshaber im Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion 1941/42. Munich: Oldenbourg, 2006, pp. 509-599; Dieter 
Pohl, Die Herrschaft der Wehrmacht: Deutsche Militdrbesatzung und einheimische Bevolkerung in der 
Sowjetunion 1941-1944. Munich: Oldenbourg, 2008, pp. 243-282. 

27 Report of Stapo Tilsit, 1.7.41, RGVA 500-1-758; cf. Konrad Kwiet, 'Rehearsing for Murder: The Beginning 
of the Final Solution in Lithuania in June 1941,' HGS 12/1, 1998, p. 5. 

28 Peter Witte et al (eds), Der Dienstkalender Heinrich Himmlers 1941/42. Hamburg: Christians, 1999. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

operations 29 , an undertaking which was not ordered by any central SS figure, but instead was 
initiated by a lowly police official. 

The actions of EK Tilsit were, however, capitalized upon by the higher SS leaders in 
order to radicalize their other units. The day after meeting with Bohme and sanctioning his 
proposed executions, Stahlecker met with the leader of Sonderkommando (SK) la, Martin 
Sandberger, and advised him to carry out matters in his area "along the same lines" as 
Bohme. As Sandberger' s unit pressed forward to Estonia, it began shooting communists and 
adult Jewish males. Following Stahlecker' s briefing of the commander of SK lb, its men also 
began liquidating selected racial and political enemies. In addition, Bohme established 
contact with the commander of EK 3, Karl Jager. 

Following the pre-war instructions by Heydrich on encouraging and initiating native 
pogroms, up to ten thousand Lithuanian Jews were killed in such actions just days after the 
German invasion. In Latvia, which was fully occupied by mid-July, similar pogroms 
occurred, but not to the same extent as those in Lithuania. In some cases, no German 
involvement was needed to precipitate such horror; in Kaunas, for instance, nearly 4,000 
Jews were spontaneously murdered immediately after the Soviet withdrawal. 30 These 
pogroms helped fuel and radicalize the Einsatzgruppen's own actions in the region; it was no 
coincidence that the commander of Einsatzkommando 3, Jager, began his unit's slaughter of 
Jews in Kaunas, murdering nearly 3,000 Jews and Jewesses in the city in early July, a number 
which undoubtedly included more than just "Jews in party and state positions." 

An expansion of killing to include women and children resulted, in part, organically 
from such local initiatives, and partly from the realisation that food supply was very limited 
and that it would be very difficult to feed both the Wehrmacht and the civilian population. 31 
The expansion was authorized explicitly by Hitler on July 16, 1941, when, at a meeting with 
top Nazi leaders, he stressed his desire to create a Garden of Eden in the East by "All 
necessary measures - shootings, resettlement, etc." - and hinted that troops and police should 
now take the lead in "shooting anyone even looks sideways at us." 32 The following day, 
Heydrich issued Einsatzbefehl No. 8 on the weeding out of prisoners for "special treatment", 
clearly meaning execution: 

29 EM 26, 18.7.41. 

30 EM 19, 11.7.41. 

31 Christian Gerlach, 'German Economic Interests, Occupation Policy, and the Murder of Jews in Belorussia, 
1941/3' in Ulrich Herbert (ed), National Socialist Extermination Policies. Contemporary German Perspectives 
and Controversies. London, 2000, pp.2 10-39; Christoph Dieckmann, 'The War and the Killing of the 
Lithuanian Jews', in Ulrich Herbert (ed), National Socialist Extermination Policies. Contemporary German 
Perspectives and Controversies. London, 2000, pp. 240-75. 

32 Vermerk iiber die Besprechung am 16.7.1941, L-221, IMT XXXVIII, pp.86-94. 


Nazi Policy 

Above all, the following must be discovered : all important functionaries of State 
and Party, especially professional revolutionaries ... all People's Commissars in 
the Red Army, leading personalities of the State ... leading personalities of the 
business world, members of the Soviet Russian Intelligence, all Jews, all persons 
who are found to be agitators or fanatical Communists. Executions are not to be 
held in the camp or in the immediate vicinity of the camp ... The prisoners are to 
be taken for special treatment if possible into the former Soviet Russian 

Escalation was also clear in the Ostland and in Ukraine. After the German Blitzkrieg 
failed to bring immediate victory over the USSR, it became apparent that there would not be 
enough food to meet all demands: German domestic demand, Wehrmacht supply demand and 
the nutrition of captured civilians. In the area of Army Group North (including the Baltic 
states), this resulted in almost immediate radicalization. On July 20, 1941, Vilnius and 
Kaunas between them only had stocks of 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes of grain, yet in August the 
Wehrmacht took 6,500 tonnes, leaving the stocks essentially empty. 34 Troops thus then had to 
take provisions directly from the land. 

It is thus highly significant that, when the 2nd SS Cavalry Regiment was preparing to 
sweep the Pripet Marshes, it received an "explicit order" (ausdruklicher Befehl des RF-SS) 
from Himmler on August 1, 1941 to kill women and children through drowning: "All Jews 
must be shot. Drive the female Jews into the swamp." 35 Magill's reply stated that "the 
swamps were not so deep that a sinking under could occur." 36 In the Baltic region, Stahlecker 
wrote a draft on August 6, 1941, that rejected Lohse's ghettoization proposals of July 27 and 
proposed instead that policy should focus on "the radical possibilities for dealing with the 
Jewish Problem" that had "emerged for the first time in the Ostland." He referred to "general 
orders from above that cannot be discussed in writing," 37 and stated that, unlike in the GG, 
"Perspectives derived from the need to use the Jews for labour will simply not be relevant for 
the most part in the Ostland." 38 Stahlecker was silent on the fate of non-working Jews, but 

33 Einsatzbefehl No. 8, 17.7.41, NO-3414; see also earlier draft, 28.6.41, 78-PS. 

34 Dieckmann, 'The War and the Killing of the Lithuanian Jews',p.256, citing statement of account of IV Wi 
AOK 18 relative to stocks on July 20, 1941, LVCA P 70-2-40 B1.2 and statement of account re. Requirements 
of Army Group North (16' and 18' Armies, Panzergruppe 4) for meat, lard and flour in August and September 
1941, LVCA P 70-1-16, B1.39. 

35 Christopher R. Browning and Jiirgen Matthaus, The Origins of the Final Solution. The Evolution of Nazi 
Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942. London, 2004, p. 310, citing Himmler order of 30.7.41 to SS 
Calvary Regiment 2, 1.8.41, BA-MA, RS 3-8/36; cf. JuNSV Bd. XX, Nr. 570. 

36 Magill report on the Pripet action, 12.8.41, MHA, Kommandostab des RFSS. 

37 These may have been issued during Himmler's visit to Riga discussed in EM 48, 10.8.41, which also 
mentioned that "he intends to set up police formations consisting of Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, 
Ukrainians, etc., employing them outside of their own home areas," implying an escalation of killing using 
native auxiliaries. 

38 Longerich, Holocaust, pp. 232-34, citing Betrifft: Entwurf iiber die Aufstellung vorlaufiger Richlinien fur die 
Behandlung der Juden im Gebiet des Reichskommissariates Ostland, 6.8.41, LCHA. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

stated that the small number of working Jews would be subject to a "ruthless exploitation" 
that would produce "a significant easing of the later transportation of Jews." This could only 
mean that non-working Jews were already to be killed immediately whilst working Jews were 
to be decimated by forced labour to leave only a rump that would have to be resettled later. In 
many ways, this foreshadowed the Wannsee Protocol. 

Stahlecker's intentions clearly reached the head of EK 3, Karl Jager. Beginning on 
August 15, 1941, Jager's statistics demonstrate a sharp increase in the number of Jews being 
shot and the inclusion of large numbers of Jewish women and children. 39 Meanwhile, an 
OKW file document revealed the first intimations that gassing was an option being 
considered in the Ostland. 40 

Stahlecker's view of decimation by labour was shared by Einsatzgruppen C leader 
Otto Rasch. In August, Rasch advocated the use of Jews in the Pripet marches. 41 On 
September 17, Rasch 42 suggested that an "extensive labour utilization" should be used to 
achieve a "gradual liquidation of the Jews." 43 

Rasch' s zone, Ukraine, witnessed the largest early massacres, but these were mainly 
instigated by HSSPF Jeckeln, who had assumed operational control of killing forces. In 
August, 23,600 Jews, many of whom had been expelled from Hungary, were killed at 
Kamenets-Podolsky. Their fate was sealed in a meeting headed by the Quartermaster-General 
Wagner and the Chief of Military Administration, Schmidt von Altenstadt. 44 In September, 
the execution of 33,771 Jews at Babi Yar, Kiev, was carried out "[in] cooperation with the 
HQ of EGC and two Kommandos of Police Regiment South" whilst in Zhitomir, 3,145 Jews 
were registered and shot. 45 In the latter action, "The women were allowed to hold their 
children in their arms" during the shooting. 46 

39 Jager report of EK 3, 1.12.41, RGVA 500-1-25, p.115. 

40 Otto Dov Kulka und Eberhard Jacket (eds), Die Juden in den geheimen Stimmungsberichten 1933-1945. 
Diisseldorf, 2004, p. 454, citing Dok. 563, Reisebericht des la des Wehrwirtschafts- und Riistungsamts des OKW 
iiber seinen Besuch im Abschnitt der Wirtschaftsinspektion Nord, 11.8.41. Originally cited by Gotz Aly, 
"Endlosung". Volkerverschiebung und der Mord an den europdischen Juden, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 
1995, p. 333. 

41 EM 52, 14.8.41. 

42 As is discussed below, Rasch previously ran the Soldau camp in East Prussia and paid SK Lange to operate a 
gas van to kill mental patients at the site; see Rediess to Wolf, 7.11.1940, NO-2909; Rasch testimony to SS 
investigation of Soldau, 16.6.43, NO-1073. 

43 EM 86, 17.9.41. 

44 Vermerk iiber die im OKH stattgefundene Besprechung wegen Ubernahme eines Teils der Ukraine in 
Zivilverwaltung am 27.8.1941 in Berlin, 197-PS; cf. Klaus-Michel Mallmann, 'Der qualitative Sprung im 
Vernichtungsprozess. Das Massaker von Kamenez-Podolsk Ende August 1941', Jahrbuch fur 
Antisemitismusforschung 10, 2001, pp. 237-64. 

45 EM 106, 7.10.41. 

46 Wendy Lower, 'The 'reibungslose' Holocaust? The German Military and Civilian Implementation of the 
'Final Solution' in Ukraine, 1941-1944,' in Gerald Feldman and Wolfgang Seibel (eds), Networks of Nazi 


Nazi Policy 

The civilian administration in the Ostland joined the systematic killing policy in 
September. On September 3, Gewecke noted the need "to liquidate all Jews" across the 
'Schaulen' [Siauliai] region. 47 Postwar testimony indicates they were killed as "useless 
eaters", the same formulation earlier used to justify killing T4 patients. 48 The language was 
repeated by Erren in Slonim, Belorussia, when 7,000 Jews were shot: "The action carried out 
by the SD on 13 November rid me of unnecessary mouths to feed." 49 

Extermination was also mandated by the assumption, expressed for example by von 
Bechtolsheim, that "without a single exception, Jews and partisans are an identical 
concept." 50 This statement, with its use of 'concept', demonstrates that the Jew-partisan 
linkage was established in the minds of the Wehrmacht leaders before they invaded the 
USSR, but it was also intensified into more systematic killing actions as the war proceeded. 
Moreover, Bechtolsheim' s order that Jews had to "vanish from the flat land and the Gypsies 
too have to be exterminated" 51 was issued before there was any partisan threat in Belorussia. 
Indeed, the fact that Gypsies also had to be exterminated shows that Bechtolsheim was using 
military prerogatives to carry out extermination of groups he defined by race. Bechtolsheim' s 
Befehl Nr. 24 put in writing what his forces had already been doing in conjunction with 
Reserve Battalion 11, sent from Lithuania, which killed 11,400 men, women and children in 
massacres that spanned Slutsk, Kletsk, Kliniki, Smilovichi, Kojdanov and the Minsk civilian 
prisoner camp. 52 The civil administration expressed shock at these murders. 53 

In November, Georg Thomas called for the "complete extermination of the Jews" in 
Volhynia (in western Ukraine) on the grounds that Jews were "without any doubt less 

Persecution. Bureaucracy, Business and the Organization of the Holocaust. Berghahn, 2004, p. 244; Pohl, Die 
Herrschaft der Wehrmacht, pp. 259-60. 

47 Gewecke, Jewish Concerns in Schaulen, 3.9.41, 3661-PS. 

48 Einsatzgruppen-Prozess Ulm, Urteil, Ks 2/57, JuNSV Bd. XV, Nr. 465. Online http://www.holocaust- 
history. org/german-trials/einsatz-ulm. shtml . 

49 Status report, RC Slonim, 25.1.42, in Anklageschrift Erren et al, StA Hamburg 141 Js 173/61, p. 50. 

50 Jurgen Fbrster, 'The Wehrmacht and the War of Extermination against the Soviet Union,' Yad Vashem 
Studies 14, 1981, pp. 7-33, citing Kommandant in Weissruthenien, Situation Report of February 1-15, 1942, BA- 
MA WK VII/527 RH 53 - 7/v. 206 RH 26-707/v. 1; cf. Hannes Heer, 'Gustav Freiherr von Mauchenheim, 
gennant Bechtolsheim - ein Wehrmachts general als Organisator des Holocaust' in Klaus-Michel Mallmann und 
Gerhard Paul (hg), Karrieren der Gewalt. Nationalsozialistische Tdterbiographien, Darmstadt: 
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2004, pp. 33-46; Browning, Origins, p. 289; Peter Lieb, 'Tater aus 
Uberzeugung? Oberst Carl von Andrian und die Judenmorde der 707. Infanteriedivision 1941/42. Der Tagebuch 
eines Regimentskommandeurs: Ein neuer Zugang zu einer beriichtigten Wehrmachtdivision', VfZ 50, 2002; 
Hannes Heer, Tote Zonen. Die Wehrmacht an der Ostfront. Hamburg, 1999; Hannes Heer, 'Killing Fields: the 
Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belorussia, 1941-42', Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 11/1, 1997) pp. 79-101. 

51 Kommandant in Weissruthenien la, Befehl Nr. 24, 24.11.41, gez. v. Bechtolsheim, NARB 378-1-698, p. 32; 
cf. Browning, Origins, p. 289. 

52 Kommandant in Belorussia, 8.10.41 and 16.10.41, NARB 378-1-698; cf. Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, pp. 
612-13. For Minsk, see EM 92, 23.9.41. 

53 Gebietskommissar Sluzk an Kube, 30.10.41, gez. Carl, 1104-PS, IMT XXVII, pp.4-8. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

valuable as labourers compared with the damage they do as 'germ carriers' of 
communism." 54 On December 18, 1941, Braiitigam told Lohse that "economic 
considerations" (referred to by Lohse in earlier correspondence of November 15) "should 
fundamentally remain unconsidered." Furthermore, he stated that this had probably been 
agreed via verbal discussion, thereby confirming that policy was not always being conveyed 
by written order but instead by mouth. 55 On January 10, 1942, Himmler confirmed to 
Rosenberg that "measures to eliminate Jews shall be taken without regard to economic 
consequences." 56 

In summary, by the time the top Nazi leadership decided to deport European Jews to 
death camps, the fate of Soviet Jews had already been sealed and large numbers of women 
and children were already documented as killed in the Nazis' own reports. For example, in 
early 1942, only 22,767 Jews remained alive, according to a census, in the military occupied 
zone of eastern Belorussia. 57 In the area of Einsatzgruppe A, Stahlecker reported in January 
1942 that "The systematic mopping up of the Eastern Territories embraced, in accordance 
with the basic orders, the complete removal if possible, of Jewry" and that this had resulted in 
"the execution up to the present time of 229,052 Jews." 58 He noted that in Latvia, "Up to 
October 1941 approximately 30,000 Jews had been executed by these Sonderkommandos." 
He then related how "27,800 were executed in Riga at the beginning of December 1941" by 
Jeckeln's forces. 

Stahlecker then detailed killings in Lithuania, where "136,421 people were liquidated 
in a great number of single actions." Total Jewish deaths in Ukraine in 1941, including 
eastern Galicia and territory occupied by Rumania, have been estimated at 509, 190. 59 For the 
'White Russian Sector', Stahlecker noted: 

41,000 Jews have been shot up to now. This number does not include those shot 
in operations by the former Einsatzkommandos. From estimated figures about 
19,000 partisans and criminals, that is in the majority Jews, were shot by the 
Armed Forces [Wehrmacht] up to December 1941. 


EM 133, 14.11.41. 

55 Braiitigam an Lohse, Jewish Question re. correspondence of 15 Nov. 1941, 18.12.41, 3666-PS, IMT XXXII, 

56 Himmler an Rosenberg, 10.1.42, NARA T454/154/334; cf. Wendy Lower, Nazi Empire-Building and the 
Holocaust in Ukraine. Chapel Hill, 2005, p. 251. 

57 Beauftragter des RMO beim Befehlshaber ruckwartiges Heeresgebiet Mitte. Bericht Nr. 6, 10.2.42, NARA 

58 Stahlecker, Report of Einsatzgruppe A, n.d., 2273-PS. 

59 Alexander Kruglov, 'Jewish Losses in Ukraine, 1941-1944', in Ray Brandon and Wendy Lower (eds), The 
Shoah in Ukraine. History, Testimony, Memorialization. Bloomington, 2008, pp. 278-79. 


Nazi Policy 

The academic literature on these killings emphasizes the Einsatzgruppen's utilization 
of large numbers of Order Police and native auxiliaries. 60 This is especially true of the studies 
of the actions of Einsatzgruppe A and its collaborators in Lithuania , Latvia and Estonia. 

Further killings in White Ruthenia in the winter of 1941-42 were only delayed by the 
frozen ground and by Kube's attempts to delay the shooting of deported Reich Jews. On 
January 31, 1942, Hofmann noted that "At present a complete liquidation of the Jews is not 
possible due to the frost, because the ground is too frozen to dig pits which would then be 
available as mass graves for the Jews." Hofmann promised, however, that "in the spring 
large-scale executions would be initiated again." 64 These killings are discussed later in this 

In Ukraine, killings continued through the winter of 1941-42, as shown by the gassing 
of Jews with Lorpicrin to clear the Zlatopol ghetto in Nikolayev on the orders of the county 
commissar. 65 Gas vans were used in Simferopol, as confirmed in the trial of Drexel and 

60 Reitlinger, The Final Solution; Hans-Joachim Neufeldt, Jiirgen Huck, Georg Tessin, Zur Geschichte des 
Ordungspolizeis 1936-1945. Koblenz, 1957; Andrej Angrick, Martina Vogt et al, ' 'Da hatte man schon ein 
Tagebuch fiihren miissen'. Das Polizeibataillon 322 und die Judenmorde im Bereich der Heeresgruppe Mitte 
wahrend des Sommers und Herbstes 1941' in Helga Grabitz et al (eds), Die Normalitdt des Verbrechens. 
Festschrift fur Wolfgang Scheffler. Berlin, 1994; Jiirgen Matthaus, 'What about the 'Ordinary Men'? The 
German Order Police and the Holocaust in the Occupied Soviet Union', HGS 11, 1996, pp. 134-150; Klaus- 
Michel Mallmann, 'Vom Fussvolk der 'Endlosung'. Ordnungspolizei, Ostkrieg und Judenmord', Tel Aviver 
Jahrbuch fur deutsche Geschichte XXVI, 1997; Edward B. Westermann, Hitler's Police Battalions. Enforcing 
Racial War in the East. Kansas, 2005; Stefan Klemp, 'Nicht ermittelt'. Polizeibataillone und die 
Nachkriegsjustiz - Ein Handbuch. Essen, 2005; Wolfgang Curilla, Die deutsche Ordnungspolizei und der 
Holocaust im Baltikum und in Weissrussland 1941-1944. Paderbom, 2006; Erich Haberer, 'The German police 
and genocide in Belorussia, 1941-1944: Part I: Police Deployment and Nazi genocidal directives. Part II: The 
'second sweep': Gendarmerie killings of Jews and Gypsies on January 29, 1942. Part III: methods of genocide 
and the motives of German police compliance', Journal of Genocide Research 3/1, pp. 13-29, 3/2, pp. 207-218, 
3/3, pp.391-403. 

61 This is clearly spelt out in the Jager report of EK 3, 1.12.41, RGVA 500-1-25, and in the secondary literature, 
cf. Dieckmann, 'The War and the Killing of the Lithuanian Jews', pp. 240-75 and now Christoph Dieckmann, 
Deutsche Besatzungspolitik in Litauen 1941-1944. Gottingen: Wallstein, 2011; Wolfram Wette, Karl Jager: 
Morder der litauischen Juden. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 2011; Petras Stankeras, Litovskie politseiskie 
batal'ony 1941-1945gg. Moscow: Veche, 2009; also in at least one well-known diary: Kazimierz Sakowicz, 
Ponary Diary, 1941-1943. A Bystander's Account of a Mass Murder. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. 

62 Margers Vestermanis, 'Der lettische Anteil an der "Endloesung". Versuch einer Antwort', in Uwe Backes, 
Eckhard Jesse, Rainer Zitelmann (eds), Die Schatten der Vergangenheit. Impulse zur Historisierung des 
Nationalsozialismus. Frankfurt am Main/Berlin: Propylaen, 1990; Andrew Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia 
1941-1944. The Missing Centre. Washington, DC, 1996; Katrin Reichelt, Lettland unter deutscher Besatzung 
1941-1944. Der lettische Anteil am Holocaust. Berlin: Metropol, 2011; 'Unichtozhit' kak mozhno bol'she..' 
Latviiskie kollaboratsionistskie formirovaniia na territorii Belorussii, 1942-1944 gg. Sbornik dokumentov. 
Moscow: Fond 'Istoricheskii pamiat', 2009. 

63 Ruth Bettina Birn, 'Collaboration with Nazi Germany in Eastern Europe: The Case of the Estonian Security 
Police', Contemporary European History, 10/2, July 2001, pp. 181-198; Anton Weiss-Wendt, Murder Without 
Hatred: Estonians and the Holocaust. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2009. 

64 Protokoll iiber den Hergang der Hauptabteilungsleiter- und Abteilungsleiterbesprechung am 29.1.42, NARB 
370-1-53, p.165. 

65 Fragment of a situation report from BdO Ukraine (gez. Miiller-Brunkhorst), ca. March 1942 (title page 
missing); TsADAVOV, R-3676-4-317, p.71; cf. Dieter Pohl, 'The Murder of Ukraine's Jews under German 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Kehrer of EK 12a and 12b. 66 German court cases against German officers who overstepped 
their duties or used unauthorized killing methods show that the purpose of the Security Police 
was defined as the extermination of Jews. A group of documents 67 describes the massacre of 
Jewish prisoners in Poltava military prison on March 25, 1942. SS-Obersturmfuhrer Schulte 
(who at the time was a liaison officer between the 6th army high command and 
Sonderkommando 4a) explained that he had to execute several prisoners, but didn't have an 
authority for special treatment (Sonderbehandlung) of "NKVD commissars, Communist 
elements and Jews", and therefore he requested Unteroffizier Hans Rottgermann 68 to perform 
the special treatment. 69 According to Schulte some space in the frozen pits was available, so 
Rottgermann could proceed. 

In his May 31, 1942 report 70 Rottgermann explained that on March 25 he was asked 
by Gefreiter der Feldgendarmerie Konrad Neese, to whom Rottgermann had previously 
given the prisoners to perform some tasks, to arrive in the prison yard, since the Jews refused 
to work and were threatening Neese. Rottgermann ordered the Jews to work, and when they 
refused he used a rubber stick. Rottgermann alleged that because of that two Jewish 
"commissars" threatened him with wooden logs. He shot them and other 6 Jews, as allegedly 
they asked him to shoot them too, which he proceeded to do. Rottgermann writes that he has 
in possession Schulte's order for execution of these Jews on that same date. In order to 
simplify things, Rottgermann shot two Jewish women right in the yard. 

Rottgermann was arrested on April 3, 1942 and accused of neglecting official orders 
and undermining the authority of the Germans in Ukraine. The verdict of the court-martial 
(Feldkriegsgericht) after the proceedings which took place on April 17, 1942 under 
Kriegsgerichtsrat Dietzel (from Poltava Kommandantur), stated, in part: 

Therefore shootings of Jews, which lately have been a task of SD, are acts of the state 
[Akte des Staates], ordered for extermination of these enemies in a certain manner [der 
die Austilgung dieser Feinde in einer bestimmten Art und Weise anordnet] and 
performed in this manner. In order to implement these measures, which the state deems 
to be necessary, special organs are used. These organs are subject to strict guidelines. 

Military Administration and in the Reich Commissariat Ukraine', in Ray Brandon and Wendy Lower (eds) The 
Shoah in Ukraine, Bloomington, 2008, p. 48. 

66 JuNSV Bd. XL, Nr. 816 StA Muenchen I, Az.ll9c Ks 6 a-b/70, Bl.33-35. 

67 Discovered by Sergey Romanov. 

68 Hans Rottgermann, 25.11.1900, Wesel (Kreis Diisseldorf) son of Johann Rottgermann and Maria (nee 
Bielefeld); plasterer; on 27.04.1922 married Helene Echte with whom had at least 4 children; took part in WWI 
as a volunteer; joined NSDAP in 1932; SS since 1932; in 1933 served in Papenburg concentration camp; 
Unteroffizier since 01.11.1941. Zugfiihrer in SS-Sturm 8/19 [9/18?]. 

69 Schulte to Thomas, 24.7.42, RGASPI 17-125-250, 1. 13. 

70 RGASPI 17-125-250, 1. 14. 


Nazi Policy 


Thereby it is guaranteed that the acts of the state are implemented within the limits set 
by the state. The military implements altogether different tasks. It is not a permissible 
interpretation that duties of specific military men are defined by their belonging to SS 
and that under any circumstances they implement the tasks of SS or SD. 


The accused shall be punished for lack of discipline. 

By shooting 10 Jews in the military prison he failed to follow the order of his direct 
military commander lieutenant Lutzke. Due to this lack of discipline the accused 
caused severe harm. This means severe undermining of the German military and 
reputation of Germans in Ukraine in general. 

When weighing any exculpatory circumstances it should be taken into account that 
liquidation of Jews [die Beseitigung der Juden] should not harm the Germans' authority 
since for these measures there are guidelines given by the state. This especially pertains 
to the SD activities, since they implement these measures within these guidelines. 71 

This court case therefore followed a similar pattern to that against Taubner of the 
Waffen-SS l.SS-Inf.Brig. (mot), who was investigated by an SS court in 1942 for excessively 
cruel acts during the killing of at least 319 Jews in Novograd-Volynsky (Zhitomir oblast), 
191 Jews in Sholokhovo (Dnepr, oblast), 459 in Aleksandriia (Kirovograd oblast). The court 
reached the following verdict: 

The accused shall not be punished because of the actions against the Jews as such. 
The Jews have to be exterminated and none of the Jews that were killed is any 
great loss. Although the accused should have recognized that the extermination of 
the Jews was the duty of Kommandos which were set up especially for this 
purpose, he should be excused for considering himself to have the authority to 
take part in the extermination of Jewry himself. Real hatred of the Jews was the 
driving motivation for the accused. In the process he let himself be drawn into 
committing cruel actions in Alexandriya which are unworthy of a German man 
and an SS-officer. These excesses cannot be justified, either, as the accused 
would like to, as retaliation for the pain that the Jews have caused the German 
people. It is not the German way to apply Bolshevik methods during the 
necessary extermination of the worst enemy of our people. In so doing the 
conduct of the accused gives rise to considerable concern. The accused allowed 
his men to act with such vicious brutality that they conducted themselves under 
his command like a savage horde... 72 


RGASPI 17-125-250, 11. 16-20. 

2 Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen and Volker Riess (eds), The Good Old Days, New York: Konecky & Konecky, 
1988, pp. 196-207; cf. JuNSV Bd. XLV, Nr. 877. The killings in Novograd-Volynsky (Zviahel county, Zhitomir 
oblast; town is Zwiahel in Polish), 191 Jews in Sholokhovo (Dnepropetrovsk oblast), 459 in Aleksandriia 
(Kirovograd oblast) were documented in Einsatzbefehl Jeckeln an 1. SS-Brigade, 25.7.1941, NARA RG 242 T- 
501R 5/000 559-60; Cf. Dieter Pohl, 'The Murder of Ukraine's Jews under German Military Administration and 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Himmler had advised the tribunal in instructions issued on his behalf by Bender on 
October 26, 1942 that "Execution for purely political motives shall result in no punishment, 
unless this is necessary for maintaining discipline and order." 73 Himmler thus saw the murder 
of Jews as political killing justified by the policy of the state, namely the Final Solution. 

MGK's three main responses to the mass shootings in the USSR are to ignore the 
mass of evidence, selectively quote a small number of documents in a misleading manner, 
and lie about the work of legitimate historians. For example, in a book attacking Raul 
Hilberg, Graf uses quotes by Hilberg that refer to the personnel composition of the 
Einsatzgruppen, whilst misrepresenting the instances where Hilberg discusses killings by 
other agencies and emphasizes the Einsatzgruppen's utilization of large numbers of Order 
Police and native auxiliaries. 74 This misrepresentation is in part due to Mattogno and Graf's 
massive ignorance of the huge literature on the subject of police battalions, the origins of 
which stretch back to Reitlinger in 1953 75 ; but in many cases, it can be shown to be 
deliberate, because Graf refers to specific killings that Hilberg discusses in inter-agency 
terms. Graf wants the reader to believe that Hilberg is claiming these were exclusively 
Einsatzgruppen killings, when Hilberg's text actually says the opposite. Graf sets up his 
strawman as follows: 

The claimed numbers of victims of the Einsatzgruppen are impossibly large. The 
largest of the four, Einsatzgruppe A, had 990 members. If we subtract from this 

in the Reich Commissariat Ukraine', p. 28; Unsere Ehre heisst Treue. Kriegstagebuch des Kommandostabes 
Reichsfiihrer SS. Tdtigkeitsberichte der 1 und 2. SS-Infanterie-Brigade, der 1. SS-Kavallerie-Brigade und von 
Sonderkommandos der SS, Vienna, 1984, p,105ff; Kruglov, 'Jewish Losses in Ukraine, 1941-1944', p. 276; 
Wendy Lower, "On Him Rests the Weight of the Administration': Nazi Civilian Rulers and the Holocaust in 
Zhytomyr,', in in Ray Brandon and Wendy Lower (eds) The Shoah in Ukraine, Bloomington: Indiana 
University Press, 2008, p. 240. The commissar for Zviahel County was Hans Schmidt, who was a 
Hauptscharfuhrer in the SD. 

73 Beurteilung von Judenerscheissungen ohne Befehl und Befugnis, 26.10.42, NO-1744; Cf. Yehoshua Biichler. 
'"Unworthy Behavior": The Case of SS Officer Max Taubner,' HGS 17/3, 2003, pp.409-429. 

74 Graf, Giant, 2001. 

75 Reitlinger, The Final Solution; Hans-Joachim Neufeldt, Jiirgen Huck, Georg Tessin, Zur Geschichte des 
Ordungspolizeis 1936-1945. Koblenz, 1957; Andrej Angrick, Martina Vogt et al, ' 'Da hatte man schon ein 
Tagebuch fiihren miissen'. Das Polizeibataillon 322 und die Judenmorde im Bereich der Heeresgruppe Mitte 
wahrend des Sommers und Herbstes 1941' in Helga Grabitz et al (eds), Die Normalitdt des Verbrechens. 
Festschrift fur Wolfgang Scheffler. Berlin, 1994; Jiirgen Matthaus, 'What about the 'Ordinary Men'? The 
German Order Police and the Holocaust in the Occupied Soviet Union', HGS 11, 1996, pp. 134-150; Klaus- 
Michel Mallmann, 'Vom Fussvolk der 'Endlosung'. Ordnungspolizei, Ostkrieg und Judenmord', Tel Aviver 
Jahrbuch fur deutsche Geschichte XXVI, 1997; Edward B. Westermann, Hitler's Police Battalions. Enforcing 
Racial War in the East. Kansas, 2005; Stefan Klemp, 'Nicht ermittelt'. Polizeibataillone und die 
Nachkriegsjustiz - Ein Handbuch. Essen, 2005; Wolfgang Curilla, Die deutsche Ordnungspolizei und der 
Holocaust im Baltikum und in Weissrussland 1941-1944. Paderbom, 2006; Erich Haberer, 'The German police 
and genocide in Belorussia, 1941-1944: Part I: Police Deployment and Nazi genocidal directives. Part II: The 
'second sweep': Gendarmerie killings of Jews and Gypsies on January 29, 1942. Part III: methods of genocide 
and the motives of German police compliance', Journal of Genocide Research 3/1, pp. 13-29, 3/2, pp. 207-218, 
3/3, pp.391-403. 


Nazi Policy 

the 172 vehicle drivers, 3 women employees, 51 interpreters, 3 teletypewriter 
operators and 8 radio operators, there are about 750 combatants left to use for the 
mass killings (p. 303; DEJ, p. 289). Up to 15th October 1941, Einsatzgruppe A 
supposedly killed 125,000 Jews (p. 309; DEJ, p. 289). Considering the fact that 
the mass murders first began in August (p. 307; DEJ, na), the overwhelming 
majority of the 125,000 victims, let us say 120,000, must have been killed in a 
period of ten weeks. 76 

Graf's decision to focus on Einsatzgruppe A is a tactical error on his part, because 

even a reader with minimal Holocaust knowledge will be aware that this unit operated in 

77 7ft 7Q 

Lithuania , Latvia and Estonia with the largest proportion of native collaborators. 
Moreover, Graf himself discusses the involvement of native Baltic citizens in pogroms: 

In addition, thousands of Jews were killed in pogroms initiated by the native 
populations following the German invasion. After they had been freed from the 
Bolshevist yoke, Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians and others took revenge on 
Jews because the Red terror machinery had been led mainly by Jews, and this 
retribution unfortunately fell also on Jews who had nothing to do with the 
Communist crimes. 80 

Graf is thus skewered by his contradictory aims. He wishes to show that the natives hated 

Jews, but, in order to maintain his Einsatzgruppen strawman, he also needs to claim that all 

killings must have been done by Einsatzgruppe A acting alone. Hilberg's actual text is clear 

that Einsatzgruppe A needed local assistance. Summarizing the actions of EK 2 in September 

1941, documented by Jager's report, Hilberg notes that EK 2 was "augmented by a Latvian 

Sonderkommando of more than one hundred men (eventually two companies of three 

platoons each) under a Latvian with legal training and police experience, Viktor Arajs." Graf 

quote-mines the "21 men" in Einsatzkommando 2 (Einsatzgruppe A) and adds a ludicrous 

exclamation mark to express his personal incredulity, but omits the fact that this action was 

led by the HSSPF, not the Einsatzgruppe. For Kiev, Hilberg notes that "two detachments of 

76 Graf, Giant, p.40. 

77 This is clearly spelt out in the Jager report of EK 3, 1.12.41, RGVA 500-1-25, and in the secondary literature, 
cf. Dieckmann, 'The War and the Killing of the Lithuanian Jews', pp. 240-75; Petras Stankeras, Litovskie 
politseiskie batal'ony 1941-1945gg. Moscow: Veche, 2009; also in at least one well-known diary: Kazimierz 
Sakowicz, Ponary Diary, 1941-1943. A Bystander's Account of a Mass Murder. New Haven: Yale University 
Press, 2005. 

78 Margers Vestermanis, 'Der lettische Anteil an der "Endloesung". Versuch einer Antwort', in Uwe Backes, 
Eckhard Jesse, Rainer Zitelmann (eds), Die Schatten der Vergangenheit. Impulse zur Historisierung des 
Nationalsozialismus. Frankfurt am Main/Berlin: Propylaen, 1990; Andrew Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia 
1941-1944. The Missing Centre. Washington, DC, 1996; Katrin Reichelt, Lettland unter deutscher Besatzung 
1941-1944. Der lettische Anteil am Holocaust. Berlin: Metropol, 2011; 'Unichtozhit' kak mozhno bol'she..' 
Latviiskie kollaboratsionistskie formirovaniia na territorii Belorussii, 1942-1944 gg. Sbornik dokumentov. 
Moscow: Fond 'Istoricheskii pamiat', 2009. 

79 Ruth Bettina Birn, 'Collaboration with Nazi Germany in Eastern Europe: The Case of the Estonian Security 
Police', Contemporary European History, 10/2, July 2001, pp. 181-198; Anton Weiss-Wendt, Murder Without 
Hatred: Estonians and the Holocaust. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2009. 

80 Graf, Giant, p. 36. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Order Police helped Einsatzkommando 4a in the Kiev massacre." For Kamenets-Podolsky, 
Hilberg emphasizes that HSSPF Jeckeln's "own staff company (Stabskompanie) did the 
shooting." 81 

Graf has therefore lifted death figures from Hilberg without acknowledging that some 
of the killings were instigated by the Higher SS and Police Leaders and/or the Wehrmacht, 
and were sometimes carried out by forces that were often primarily non-Einsatzgruppen 
personnel. The size of these non-Einsatzgruppen personnel exposes even further the deep 
dishonesty of Graf's position. During the summer of 1941, there were 21 Order Police 
battalions operating in the USSR. 82 By 1942, when the Order Police became stationery, their 
combined total would be just under 15,000 men. The HSSPF, from July 1941, had at their 
disposal the First SS Brigade and the SS Cavalry Brigade, which were assigned respectively 
to the areas of HSSPF Jeckeln (Russia South) and HSSPF Bach-Zelewski (Russia Center). 
The total manpower of these units was between 10,000 and 11,000 men. 83 The men assigned 
to Jeckeln killed more Jews in Ukraine in 1941 than did Einsatzgruppe C and D combined. 84 

Moreover, by far the largest numerical collections of killers were the non-German 
auxiliaries, known as Schutzmannschaft. 85 On July 1, 1942, these forces totaled 165,128 
men. 86 It is therefore beyond dispute that the Nazis had enough men available to exterminate 
the Jews of the USSR. Graf is either ignorant or dishonest on this issue. 

Finally, it should be noted that Baltic and Ukrainian auxiliaries of the type ignored by 
Graf were later used in Aktion Reinhard to liquidate ghettos by deportation to the death 
camps or shooting on site. For example, Erich Kapke, who commanded a ghetto-clearing unit 

81 Raul Hilberg, The Destruction Of The European Jews. Third Edition, Vol. 2. Yale Univ. Press 2003, p. 299 
n.16 and p. 303. 

82 George Tessin, Norbert Kannapin, and Bruen Meyer, Waffen-SS und Ordnungspolizei in Kriegseinsatz. 
Osnabrueck. Biblio Verlag, 2000, pp.629-38. 

83 Yehoshua Robert Biichler, 'Kommandostab Reichsfiihrer-SS. Himmler's Personal Murder Brigades in 1941', 
HGS 1/1, 1986, pp. 11-25; Martin Cuppers, Wegbereiter der Shoah. Die Waffen-SS, der Kommandostab 
Reichsfiihrer-SS und die Judenvernichtung 1939-1945. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2005. 

84 Dieter Pohl, 'The Murder of Ukraine's Jews under German Military Administration and in the Reich 
Commissariat Ukraine', in Ray Brandon and Wendy Lower (eds) The Shoah in Ukraine. Bloomington, 2008, 

85 As noted above, Himmler's planning for these units during his visit to Riga was discussed in EM 48, 10.8.41, 
which notes their availability for use outside their own region. The literature on these units includes Richard 
Breitman, 'Himmler's Police Auxiliaries in the Occupied Soviet Territories', Simon Wiesenthal Center 7, 1997; 
Franz Golczewski, 'Organe der deutschen Besatzungsmacht: die ukrainischen Schutzmannschaften' in 
Wolfgang Benz, Johannes Houwink ten Cate and Gerhard Otto (eds), Die Biirokratie der Okkupation: 
Strukturen der Herrschaft und Verwaltung im besetzten Europa. Berlin, 1998; Martin C. Dean, 'The German 
Gendarmerie, the Ukrainian Schutzmannschaft and the 'Second Wave' of Jewish Killings in Occupied Ukraine: 
German Policing at the Local Level in the Zhitomir Region, 1941-1944', German History 2/14, 1996; Martin C. 
Dean, Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941-1944. 
Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000; DA. Zhukov and I.I. Kovtun, Russkaia politsiia, Moscow: Veche, 2010; Leonid 
Rein, The Kings and the Pawns: Collaboration in Byelorussia During World War II. Oxford: Berghahn, 2011 

86 Staerkenachweisung der Schutzmannschaft, Orpo Hauptamt, Berlin, 1.7.42, BA R 19/266, pp. 5-11. 


Nazi Policy 

in the Radom district in the autumn of 1942, told investigators in 1968 that the unit had 

Ukrainian and Baltic manpower 


Evolution of Europe- Wide Final Solution, September - December 1941 

The decision-making process to kill Europe's Jews was a mixture of decisions made at the 
top by the Fiihrer and Himmler, and decisions made in consultation with more junior 
personnel concerning local killing actions. The centre allowed local authorities to kill Jews in 
increasing numbers, and these local killings then fed the centre's growing desire for killing 
Jews on a Europe-wide scale. Local killing decisions normalised extermination thinking that 
had been developing at the centre. 

The following discussion contrasts Mattogno's fantasies about a Nazi resettlement 
decision with the real historiography of the decision-making process. It shows how, in order 
to promote his thesis, Mattogno has to suppress evidence whilst distorting the meaning of 
documents that actually prove extermination. 

Mattogno's distortions begin by softening the reality of the plans that preceded the 
Final Solution. On page 198 of Sobibor, Mattogno claims that the Madagascar Plan 
formulated by Franz Rademacher 88 proposed for the Jews an "autonomous state under 
German supervision." He then translates one of Rademacher' s lines as, "Within this territory, 
the Jews will be given autonomy in other respects: their own mayors, their own police, their 
own postal and railroad services, etc." However, he omits the key sentence preceding that 
line, which transforms the passage in a way that Mattogno has intentionally concealed: 

That part of the island not required for military purposes will be placed under the 
administration of a German Police Governor, who will be under the 
administration of the Reichsfiihrer-SS. Apart from this, the Jews will have their 
own administration in this territory: their own mayors, police, postal and railroad 
administration, etc. 89 

Rademacher' s wording, omitted by Mattogno, clearly shows that the Madagascar reservation 

would have been an SS enclosure. Mattogno also omits Rademacher' s insistence that the 

Jews would be hostages: 

Moreover, the Jews will remain in German hands as a pledge for the future good 
behaviour of the members of their race in America. 

87 Christopher R. Browning, Remembering Survival. Inside A Nazi Slave Labor Camp. New York: W.W. 
Norton, 2010, p. 89. 

88 Mattogno incorrectly refers to him as 'Fritz Rademacher'; MGK, Sobibor, pl98. 

89 Rademacher, The Jewish Question in the Peace Treaty, Berlin, 3.7.40, NG-2586-B. Online at holocaust/documents/part2/doc97.html . 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Mattogno's "an autonomous state" is directly contradicted by Rademacher's 
insistence that "our German sense of responsibility towards the world forbids us to make the 
gift of a sovereign state to a race which has had no independent state for thousands of years." 
Mattogno also omits Rademacher's rejection, in an earlier document 90 , of the idea of sending 
Jews to Palestine, because of the "danger of a second Rome!", even though this phrase was 
quoted by fellow denier David Irving in Hitler's War. 91 

When Mattogno discusses the end of the Madagascar Plan, in Treblinka (p. 186) he 
claims it was "temporarily shelved" in September 1941; Sobibor (p. 209) gives February 10, 
1942 as the official date when the plan was cancelled. 92 However, this fact undermines Graf's 
reliance on Goebbels' March 7, 1942 diary entry where he references deportations to 

Being one of the leading figures of the Third Reich, Dr. Goebbels would of 
course have known about such an extermination policy, so how do the 
"holocaust" historians explain the fact that he spoke of the concentration of the 
Jews in the East and advocated assigning them Madagascar (or another island) as 
late as on 7 March 1942? 93 

Mattogno and Graf get themselves into this muddle because of their insistence upon 
clear policy breaks that allow no overlaps, and because they wish to pretend that Madagascar 
and 'resettlement to the East' were both benign plans rather than genocidal ones. Their 
reliance on a figure tertiary to the decision-making process also doesn't help them. 

Mattogno also ignores the fact that the Madagascar Plan evolved at the same time as 
written exchanges between Wetzel and Himmler on racial policy. Mattogno cites selectively 
from this documentation in Sobibor 94 , in a lame attempt to neutralize it, but ignores its 
implications for the decimatory nature of 'resettlement'. On November 25, 1939, Wetzel and 
Hecht stated that "We are indifferent to the hygienic fate of the Jews. Also for the Jews the 
basic principle is valid, that their propagation must be curtailed in every possible way." This 
clearly converges with developments in 1940 ignored by Mattogno such as Brack's proposals 

90 Peter Longerich, Holocaust. The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews. Oxford, 2010, p. 162, citing 
Rademacher an Luther, Gedanken ueber die Arbeit und Aufgaben des Ref. D III, PA, Inland II AB 347/3; 
synopsis Rademacher an Dannecker, 5.8.40, NG-5764. 

91 David Irving, Hitler's War on-line edition, p. 136: chapter/08. html . 

92 The official cancellation by Franz Rademacher in February 1942 shows the transparency and deceitfulness of 
Hitler's reference to the plan several months later. 

93 Jiirgen Graf, 'Hungarian Holocaust Debate: Otto Perge vs. Dr. Laszlo Karzai'. Online at . 


MGK, Sobibor, pp. 196-97 and pp. 236-39. 


Nazi Policy 

for sterilization by X-ray 95 and Hitler's authorization of forced abortions. In May 1940, 
Himmler said that: 

...I hope that the concept of Jews will be completely extinguished through the 
possibility of large-scale emigration of all Jews to Africa or some other colony. It 
must also be possible, in a somewhat longer period of time, to let the national 
concept of Ukrainians, Gorals and Lemcos disappear in our territory. Whatever is 
said concerning these splinter peoples applies on a correspondingly larger scale to 
the Poles. 

...Cruel and tragic as every individual case may be, this method is the mildest and 
best if, out of inner conviction, we reject the Bolshevist method of physical 
destruction of a people as un-Germanic and impossible.... 96 

Himmler was thus proposing, at the very least, a short-term extermination of 
Jewishness as a cultural identity through emigration to Madagascar. How else would this 
have been achieved apart from decimation? Mattogno clings to the latter sentence about how 
"we reject the Bolshevist method of physical destruction of a people as un-Germanic and 
impossible" but this assumes that Himmler included Jews in his definition of "a people", 
which is clearly very unlikely; both Wetzel and Himmler stressed that Jews were to be treated 
differently from the other eastern nationalities discussed in these documents. Even in the 
unlikely event that Himmler was rejecting the physical extermination of Jews in 1940, it 
would be the snapshot fallacy to cite this to try and neutralise the 1941-44 paper trail. It is 
possible but unlikely that Himmler rejected the idea of extermination in May 1940, but 
utterly ludicrous by June-December 1941. 

Mattogno's policy chapter in Treblinka (Chapter VI), duplicated in Sobibor (Chapter 
7), relies heavily upon a note sent by Zeitschel, an advisor at the German embassy in Paris, 
for the attention of ambassador Otto Abetz, suggesting that all the Jews in places occupied by 
the Germans be deported to "a special territory presumably marked off for them." Mattogno 
claims that: 

Zeitschel's proposal was thus accepted some months later by Hitler himself, who 
resolved to temporarily shelve the Madagascar Plan and to deport all Jews living 
in the occupied territories to the east. This decision of the Fuhrer was probably 
made in September 1941. 97 

The vagueness of 'probably' contradicts Mattogno's demand for precision in the policy 

thresholds he imposes on his strawman version of the proper historiography. Moreover, the 

95 Brack an Himmler, 28.3.41, NO-203. 

96 Himmler an Hitler, 25.5.40, NO-1880. 

97 M&G, Treblinka, pp. 184-86, citing Zeitschel an Abetz, 22.8.41, 1017-PS. Note that this Mattogno paragraph 
contains a direct contradiction between "some months later" and "September 1941": Zeitschel's proposal was 
dated 22.8.41, so a September decision would be one month or less afterwards. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

focus on Zeitschel and Abetz is selective because it ignores three crucial facts. Firstly, on the 
previous day, Zeitschel had proposed the sterilization of all Jews on German-controlled 
soil. 98 Zeitschel' s intentions therefore clearly had a genocidal purpose, and reflected 
sterilization experiments that were already taking place in Berlin." Secondly, when Hitler 
met with Abetz on September 16, 1941, the Fiihrer discussed plans to starve millions of 
people in Leningrad: 

The Petersburg 'nest of poison' from which for so long Asian poison had flowed 
into the Baltic, must vanish from the earth. The city [Leningrad] was already 
surrounded: all that remained to do was to pound it with artillery and from the air. 
Everything the population needed to survive, such as the water pipes and the 
power stations, would be destroyed. The Asians and Bolshevists must be chased 
out of Europe, the episode of '250 years of Asianness' was at an end. 100 

Abetz was therefore fully aware that the fate awaiting the Jews would involve highly 

attritional death rates, as Hitler had already told him that he would remove "Everything the 

population needed to survive" from the "Asians and Bolshevists." Mattogno ignores this 

context because, by implication, it shows that Hitler would not allow Jews, who were 

automatically defined as enemies of the Reich, to survive in the USSR. Thirdly, Mattogno 

ignores the literature that shows how deportation policy in France evolved from reprisals 

policy. On December 14, 1941, Goebbels described impending deportations from France "to 

the eastern region" as "In many cases... equivalent to a death sentence." In April 1942, a 

Hitler decree stipulated that "for each future assassination... 500 Communists and Jews are to 

be turned over to the RFSS and the German Chief of Police for deportation to the East." 101 

By May 31, 1942, 6,000 Communists and Jews had been deported as "reprisals." 102 

Deportations from France should therefore be understood as having been commenced in lieu 

of shooting: as an equivalent death sentence. This alone is sufficient to place Zeitschel and 

Abetz's correspondence in the timeline of extermination, not (as Mattogno's title chapter 

claims) 'emigration'. 

Zeitschel, 21.8.41, CDJC, V-8, published in Serge Klarsfeld, Vichy - Auschwitz. Die Zusammenarbeit der 
deutschen und franzosischen Behorden bei der "Endlosung der Judenfrage" in Frankreich. Nordlingen, 1989, 

99 Brack an Himmler, 28.3.41, NO-203. 

100 Note on the Fiihrer's comments to Abetz, 16.9.41, ADAP [Akten zur Deutschen Auswartigen Politik], Serie 
D, Bd. 13/2. Goettingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1970, pp.424-25. 

101 Erlass des Militarbefehlshaber im Frankreich, 10.4.42, RF-1241; for context, see Ulrich Herbert, 'The 
German Military Command in Paris and the Deportation of the French Jews', in Ulrich Herbert (ed), National 
Socialist Extermination Policies. Contemporary German Perspectives and Controversies. London, 2000, 
pp. 128-62; Christopher Neumaier, 'The Escalation of German Reprisal Policy in Occupied France, 1941-42', 
Journal of Contemporary History, 41/1, January 2006, pp. 113-31. 

102 Herbert, 'The German Military Command in Paris', p. 144, citing Das Geiselverfahren im Bereich des 
Militarbefehlshabers in Frankreich vom Aug. 1941-Mai 1942, p.40ff. BA RW 35/524. 


Nazi Policy 

Mattogno cites Goebbels' diary entry for August 20, 1941, but overlooks the parts of 
that entry, cited by Browning, which quote Hitler's statements that Jews deported to the 
USSR "will be worked over in the harsh climate there" and: 

As for the Jewish question, today in any case one could say that a man like 
Antonescu, for example, proceeds much more radically in this manner than we 
have done until now. But I will not rest or be idle until we too have gone all the 
way with the Jews. 103 

Hitler would have known that Antonescu's Rumanian police had been liquidating 
Jews since July, in co-operation with Einsatzgruppe D, and driving those unfit to work into 
Transnistria, where most would starve or be shot. For example, Einsatzkommando 11A 
reported that "551 Jews have been liquidated in Kishinev." 104 

Mattogno also discusses Goebbels' meeting with Heydrich on September 24, 1941, in 
which the latter stated that Jews deported from Berlin "in the end are all supposed to be 
transported [...] into the camps built by the Bolsheviks" 105 ; and they cite Hitler's statement of 
October 6, 1941, reported by Koeppen, that "Together with the Jews of the Protectorate, all 
the Jews of Vienna and Berlin must disappear." 106 However, they fail to make the obvious 
connection between these two statements: Heydrich's "camps built by the Bolsheviks" had 
become places where the Jews of Berlin would "disappear." How does disappearance in 
camps equate to a policy of resettlement? 

Furthermore, Mattogno cites Heydrich's Prague meeting of October 10, 1941, but 
ignores a key passage referring to how Jews would be "decimated" (dezimiert). 107 Eight days 
earlier, a Heydrich speech in Prague had referred to the need "to gather the plans and the raw 
material" and to "test the material." 108 This indicates that the forthcoming deportations were 
associated with experiments taking place with "raw material." 

In pages 274-276 of Sobibor, Mattogno attempts to neutralize Wetzel's draft to Lohse 
of October 25, 1941 (three weeks after Heydrich's "raw material" speech), concerning the 
proposed construction of "Vergasungsapparate" (also referred to as "Brack's device") in 
Riga to kill Reich Jews incapable of work. 109 The context of this draft should be noted. 

103 TBJG, II/l, p.266 (19.8.41) and p.278 (20.8.41). 

104 EM 45, 7.8.41. 

105 TBJG, II/I, pp.480-81 (24.9.1941). 

106 M&G, Treblinka, pp. 185-86; Broszat, 'Hitler und die Genesis der "Endlosung', pp. 739-75: TBJG II/I, 
pp.480-81 (24.9.41);; Miroslav Karny, Jaroslava Milotova and Margita Kama (eds), Politik im 'Protektorat 
Bohmen und Mahreri unter Reinhard Heydrich 1941-1942. Berlin, 1997, p.97, citing Notiz Koeppens, 6.10.41. 

107 Minutes of a discussion in Prague on the Solution of the Jewish Question presided over by Heydrich, Prague, 
10.10.41, T/294. 

108 Karny, Politik im 'Protektorat Bohmen und Mdhren' unter Reinhard Heydrich 1941-1942, pp. 107-22. 

109 Wetzel draft an Lohse, 25.10.41, NO-365. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Wetzel also drafted a covering letter on behalf of Rosenberg, so claims of forgery would need 
to account for both drafts, not just one. 110 Both drafts had been prepared for Lohse's attention 
but must have been given to him verbally because he arrived in Berlin on the same day to 
protest against the planned deportation of Reich Jews to Riga and Minsk. Furthermore, only 
two days before this draft, and on the same day that Wetzel was meeting with Brack, Paul 
Wurm, the foreign editor of Der Sturmer, had written from Berlin to Franz Rademacher 
advising him that "many of the Jewish vermin will be exterminated through special 
measures." It is thus certain that Lohse was aware of plans to kill deported Jews in the 
Ostland before he left Berlin. 111 

Mattogno attempts to negate this entire process by claiming that "Brack's device" 
proposed by Wetzel to be used in Riga would have been "carbon monoxide cylinders", but 
this is highly doubtful given that, as we show in the Gas Chamber chapter, Widmann had 
already discussed "the impossibility to transport the CO-cylinders in Russia" 112 (and gassing 
tests in Mogilev using engine exhaust had already taken place) when Wetzel wrote his draft 
on October 25. The eventual use of gas vans in the Minsk-Mogilev area was confirmed by 
EK 8 driver Josef Wendl in court testimony in 1970 113 , while Sergey Romanov of Holocaust 
Controversies has published a document cited by Gerlach showing the arrival of two "gas 
vans" (Gaswagen in the original German) in Smolensk in February 1942. 114 Court 
proceedings have also uncovered that, around the end of May 1942, EK 8 received a gas van 
from Smolensk. The driver was SS-Hstuf Sch., who belonged to the driver Staffel of the 
EK. 115 Against this raft of evidence, Mattogno cites only Brack's Nuremberg testimony on 
CO cylinders, and states that this applied to the same device as in Wetzel's draft 116 , but the 

110 Wetzel draft an Lohse, 25.10.41, NO-996 and NO-997. 

111 Browning, Origins, p. 369, citing Wurm an Rademacher, 23.10.41, Political Archives of the German Foreign 
Office, Inland II A/B 59/3. 

112 Deposition by AWidmann, Head of Abt. V D 2 (Chemistry and Biology) in the KTI, 11.1.1960; StA 
Dusseldorf, Az. 8 Js7212/59 [ZSL, Az.202 AR-Z 152/59], B1.46. 

113 Patricia Heberer, 'Justice in Austrian Courts?' in Patricia Heberer and Jiirgen Matthaeus (eds), Atrocities on 
Trial: Historical Perspectives on the Politics of Prosecuting War Crimes. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 2008, p. 237, citing testimony of Josef W., Strafsache gegen Josef W., Bd. IX, ON 117, p. 16; see also on 
the gassing of mental patients in Mogilev, Andrej Angrick, Besatzungspolitik und Massenmord. Die 
Einsatzgruppe D in der siidlichen Sowjetunion 1941-1943. Hamburg, 2003, p.368ff. 

114 EGr B, Tatigkeits- und Lagebericht, 16-28.2.42, p.7, RGVA 500-1-770; cf. Christian Gerlach, 'Failure of 
Plans for an SS Extermination Camp im Mogilew', Holocaust and Genocide Studies 11, 1997, p. 77 n.83; 
Sergey Romanov, 'How the convergence of evidence works: the gas van of Auschwitz', Holocaust 
Controversies, 6.10.06. Scan of document, p.7: 67d0a83246 o.jpg . 

115 JuNSV, Bd. 23, Nr. 624, p.344 (Urteil LG Frankfurt/Main 4 Ks 1/65 gegen Josef Har., 12.3.66); cf. also 
JuNSV Bd. XXXIII, Lfd. Nr. 720; JuNSV Bd. XXXII, Lfd Nr. 702. 

116 MGK, Sobibor, pp.274-75. 


Nazi Policy 

exchange he cites was referring only to the gassing of mental patients in T4 euthanasia 
centres 117 so was irrelevant to the proposed gassing of Jews in Riga. 

This same section then engages in a fallacy of excluded middle by assuming that the 
Riga plan must have been abandoned when work began on Belzec. Moreover, it assumes that 
Belzec's original intention must, according to the official historiography, have been to kill fit 
as well as unfit Jews. This is simply a false reading of the historiography because almost all 
historians concur that the policy at the time of the Wannsee Protocol was to gas unfit Jews 
whilst granting workers a stay of execution. Both of these false assumptions can be refuted by 
noting the obvious fact that the Ostland and Belzec operated as killing sites simultaneously in 
the spring and summer of 1942, so Belzec was simply an additional killing option at the 
moment that construction commenced, not a replacement for the Wetzel proposal. 
Furthermore, by conceding that Wetzel's document referred to killing, Mattogno concedes a 
murderous motive, and fails to explain why that motive would not have been carried forward 
into 1942 at the expense of resettiement. 

Mattogno also perpetrates distortions concerning witnesses to decision-making. On 
page 235 of Sobibor, Mattogno insists that Fiihrer orders must be located that match those 
claimed in testimonies by Hbss for June 1941 and Wisliceny for April 1942. This is, of 
course, hypocritical; firstly because Mattogno 's own dating for a resettlement decision is not 
precise (he says 'probably' September, as was noted above) and secondly because he insists 
in other chapters that perpetrator testimonies are unreliable for purposes of dating and detail. 
Moreover, Hbss's dating is contradicted by his own affidavit, which stated that he received 
the order when the three Reinhard camps were already operational. 118 His dating has also 
been criticized by historians such as Browning 119 and Orth 120 , who have shown why it was 
incorrect. Consequently, there is no reason why historians should follow Hoss's dating, and 
for Mattogno to insist otherwise is simply ludicrous, if not outright dishonest. Historians also 
point out that perpetrators such as Hbss had a motive to insist on an early Fiihrerbefehl, as a 
way of evading their own personal responsibility for killings, but this obvious point about 
defence strategy is ignored by Mattogno because it would take away the Fiihrerbefehl 

117 NMT, I, pp.876-86: . 

118 Affidavit of Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Hbss, 5.4.46, 3868-PS, NCA VI, pp. 787-90. 

119 Christopher R. Browning, Collected Memories: Holocaust History and Postwar Testimony. Madison, WI, 

120 Karin Orth, 'Rudolf Hbss und die 'Endlbsung der Judenfrage'. Drei Argumente gegen deren Datierung auf 
den Sommer 1941', WerkstattGeschichte 18, 1997, pp. 45-57. Mattogno misdates this as 1999. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Mattogno's treatment of Wisliceny's testimony is just as poor. Wisliceny referred to an 
extermination order by Himmler in April 1942 that gave a temporary exemption to Jews 
required for essential labour. Mattogno gives no plausible reason why Himmler did not have 
that authority by that date to issue such an exemption without requiring a superior Hitler 
order. Moreover, Wisliceny's claim is supported by documentation that Mattogno ignores. 
On May 18, 1942, Miiller wrote to Jager, following the execution of 630 workers in Minsk, to 
inform him that Jews aged 16-32 in these camps were to be "excluded from special measures 
until further notice." 121 Peter Longerich has concluded using documentation from the GG that 
Himmler actually gave this order on May 18. 122 Thus the order dated by Wisliceny for April 
1942 can actually be documented as having been given in May. 

Mattogno claims instead that the original Fiihrerbefehl had, according to Hoss, 
allowed no exceptions, so any exceptions had to be granted by Hitler in a subsequent order, 
but this does not take cognizance of the fact that Hoss's actual wording simply stated that all 
Jews were to be "destroyed now during the war, without exception." By failing to consider 
the timescale implied by Hoss's "during the war", Mattogno falsifies its meaning into one 
that requires total immediate killing at the time of deportation, whereas in fact Hoss's 
formulation is perfectly compatible with the Wannsee Protocol's requirement that some Jews 
were to be exempted for labour but then killed afterwards. There is simply nothing in Hoss or 
other sources that precludes temporary exemptions for labour. 

Mattogno's distortions continue with the 1942 evidence. On May 1, 1942, Greiser 
asked Himmler for permission to extend the Sonderbehandlung of "about 100,000 Jews in the 
area of my Gau" 123 to ensure that "the cases of open tuberculosis among the Polish people are 
extirpated." 124 Mattogno acknowledges that Greiser was requesting permission to kill these 
Poles 125 , but then perversely omits the connection with the killing of the 100,000 Jews that 
Greiser explicitly made in the letter. The use of the word Sonderbehandlung to refer to the 
killing of these Poles also occurs in letters by Koppe 126 and Blome. 127 In the latter, Blome 
presented Sonderbehandlung and the "Creation of a reservation for all TB patients" as 
mutually exclusive options, so Sonderbehandlung could not mean resettlement, contrary to 

121 FS Miiller an Jager, Betr.: Endgultige Lbsung der Judenfrage, 18.5.1942, RGVA 500-1-25, p. 379. 

122 Longerich, Holocaust, p. 342, citing minute of chief of staff of SSPF Cracow 27.7.42, BAB, NS 19/1765. 

123 Greiser an Himmler, 1.5.1942, BA NS19/1585, p.l-R, also NO-246. 

124 Scans and translations of all the documents discussed in this section can be found on-line: Sergey Romanov, 
'Documents about the murderous purpose of SK Lange', Holocaust Controversies, 9.7.06: . 

125 MGK, Sobibor, p.280 n.850. 

126 Koppe an Brandt, 3.5.1942, BA NS19/1585, p.4, also NO-247. 

127 Blome an Himmler, 18.11.42, NO-250. 


Nazi Policy 

the claim made by Mattogno, who states that this was an extension of the Himmler-Greiser 
correspondence of September 1941. 128 The same distinction was made by Himmler in his 
reply. 129 

Mattogno further distorts this documentary sequence by claiming that, because 
Himmler changed his mind about authorizing these killings, this must cast doubt on killings 
of Polish mental patients in 1939-40. However, this is a chronological distortion because 
Blome's letter had referred to the political controversy leading up to the suspension of the 
euthanasia program as his reason for fearing that the TB euthanasia would be similarly 

I could imagine that the Fiihrer, having some time ago stopped the program in the 
insane asylums, might at this moment consider a "special treatment" of the 
incurably sick as unsuitable and irresponsible from a political point of view. 

This controversy occurred after the mentally ill Poles had already been killed in 1939-40, so 

it cannot have prevented the killing of those Poles. Furthermore, Mattogno's assumption that 

no tubercular Poles were killed may be incorrect; Greiser's note to Brandt of June 1942 has a 

handwritten notation saying that the action was "under way." 130 

This long list of distortions by Mattogno is intended to deflect their readers' attention 
from the real policy timeline. This can be reconstructed as follows. On September 20, 1941, 
the representative for the Eastern Ministry in Hitler's headquarters, Koeppen, wrote that the 
Envoy von Steengracht (representative of the Foreign Office in the headquarters of the 
Fiihrer) had told him that Hitler was considering the question of postponing possible 
"Pressalien" (i.e. Repressalien; reprisals) against the German Jews "for [the] eventuality of an 
American entry into the war." 131 Given that the reprisal policy that operated in the East and in 
Serbia was to execute 100 civilians for every killed German soldier, it would be perverse to 
assume that a Jewish population deported as a reprisal action would not suffer a large death 
toll, even if the method of death had not yet been decided. 

During that early autumn period, the intentions of Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich 
appear to have been 'decimation' rather than a policy to exterminate every Jew. Hitler stated 
in August that the deported Jews "will be worked over in the harsh climate there." 132 Hitler 
did not say "by the harsh climate", so his formulation left open the possibility that 'worked 

128 Mattogno, Chelmno, p.41. 

129 Himmler an Greiser, 3.12.42, NO-251. 

130 Greiser an Brandt, 27.6.42. NO-252. 

131 Peter Longerich, Hitler's Role in the Persecution of the Jews by the Nazi Regime, electronic version, defence 
document in Irving v. Lipstadt, 2000, citing BA R 6/34a, Koeppen-Aufzeichnungen, 21.9.1941. 

132 TBJG II/l, pp.266, 278 (19.8.1941, 20.8.1941). 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

over' could mean active killing by SS and police as well as decimation from hunger and 
disease. This interpretation is supported by his reference, in the same entry, to Antonescu's 
shooting of Rumanian Jews. As we have already seen above, that possibility was also 
embraced by Heydrich in his Prague meeting of October 10, 1941. 

The decision-making process leading to that point can be charted through 
Rosenberg's knowledge of Hitler's intentions as reflected in his documents and speeches in 
the latter half of 1941 He was present at the meeting of July 16, when Hitler proposed 
"shooting anyone who even looks sideways at us" in the USSR. 133 Rosenberg declined 
Frank's request of October 13 to deport Jews from the General Government into the Ostland, 
where Soviet Jews were being shot in large numbers. The Wetzel-Lohse draft of October 25 
concerning the construction of "Vergasungsapparate" in Riga was prepared for Rosenberg's 
attention. On November 18, three days after a meeting with Himmler, Rosenberg gave a 
briefing to the German press in which he stated that: 

In the east some six million Jew still live, and this question can only be solved in 
a biological eradication of the entire Jewry of Europe. The Jewish question is 
only solved for Germany when the last Jew has left German territory, and for 
Europe when not a single Jew lives on the European continent up to the Urals. 
...for this reason it is necessary to expel them over the Urals or eradicate them in 
some other way. 

These 'six million' appear again in a draft that Rosenberg prepared for a speech to be 

given on December 18, in which he threatened "New York Jews" with "a negative 

elimination of these parasitic elements." More importantly, on December 16, Rosenberg 

made a note concerning a meeting with Hitler in which they had decided to modify the 

speech in the light of the declaration of war against the USA and "the decision" to kill all of 

Europe's Jews: 

With regard to the Jewish question, I said that my remarks about the New York 
Jews would perhaps have to be changed now, after the decision. My position was 
that the extermination of the Jews should not be mentioned. The Fiihrer agreed. 
He said they had brought the war down on us, they had started all the destruction, 
so it should come as no surprise if they became its first victims. 135 

Evidence that this was the moment when Hitler announced 'the decision' also comes from the 

speech Goebbels described as having been made to the top echelons of the Nazi party by 

Hitler on December 12, 1941: 

133 Vermerk liber die Besprechung am 16.7.1941, L-221, IMT XXXVIII, p.88. 

134 Christopher R. Browning, Evidence for the Implementation of the Final Solution, citing Rosenberg speech, 
18.11.1941, in Political Archives of the Foreign Office, Pol. XIII, VAA Berichte. 

135 Rosenberg, Vermerk iiber die Unterredung beim Fiihrer, 14.12.41, 1517-PS, IMT XXVII, p.270ff. 


Nazi Policy 

With regard to the Jewish Question, the Fiihrer is determined to make a clean 
sweep of it. He prophesied that, if they brought about another world war, they 
would experience their annihilation. That was no empty talk. The world war is 
here 136 . The annihilation of Jewry must be the necessary consequence. The 
question is to be viewed without any sentimentality. We're not there to have 
sympathy with the Jews, but only sympathy with our own German people. If the 
German people has again now sacrificed around 160,000 dead in the eastern 
campaign, the originators of this bloody conflict will have to pay for it with their 
lives. 137 

The following day, Goebbels wrote that the deportation of French Jews would be "In many 

cases... equivalent to a death sentence." 138 The number of deaths that Goebbels anticipated 

must have been high because, the previous day, he had recorded Hitler's reference to 160,000 

dead in the eastern campaign. If the Nazis applied a 100:1 reprisal ratio to Jews for those 

deaths, then the death toll in reprisals alone would easily encompass every Jew living in 

Europe. Consequently, although Goebbels referred to the Madagascar Plan as late as March 

7, 1942 and was possibly not briefed on Aktion Reinhard until the deportations began later 

that month (see discussion below in the section on his March 27, 1942 diary entry), he was 

already, by December 14, 1941, viewing deportation plans through the prism of mass death, 

in which deportation would result in "the destruction of the Jews", i.e. the deaths of so many 

of them that they ceased to be a viable entity, if not their total extermination. 

Furthermore, if a reprisal quota of 100:1 were applied to the 160,000 dead Germans in 

this speech, the quota would justify the killing of all the 11,000,000 Jews that Goebbels 

mentions on March 7, 1942. It is thus inconceivable that Goebbels would be viewing 

deportation as a resettiement in which more than a 'remnant' of Jews would be left alive. His 

view of deportation had already been radicalized, even if he was 'out of the loop' of 

discussions on the extent of the extermination and the actual implementation details as to the 

location, method and timescale of the destruction. Hans Frank reflected the meaning of 'the 

decision' in a speech in Krakow on December 16, 1941: 

But what is to happen to the Jews? Do you believe that they will be lodged in 
settlements in the Ostland? In Berlin we were told: why all this trouble; we 
cannot use them in the Ostland or the Reichskommissariat either; liquidate them 
yourselves! Gentlemen, I must ask you, arm yourselves against any thoughts of 
compassion. We must destroy the Jews, wherever we encounter them and 
wherever it is possible, in order to preserve the entire structure of the Reich. 



This was the week Germany declared war on the United States. 
TBJG II/2, pp.498-99 (13.12.1941). 

138 TBJG II/2, p.503 (14.12.1941). 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Frank continued by noting that "We cannot shoot or poison those 3,500,000 Jews, but we 
shall nevertheless be able to take measures, which will lead, somehow, to their 
annihilation..." 139 The documents therefore converge on an extermination decision having 
been finalized in the period when Rosenberg was drafting his speech, as Rosenberg's note 
tells us that "the decision" changed the content of the speech, and this occurred in the same 
week as Hitler's speech that was noted by Goebbels and echoed by Frank. However, 
Rosenberg's previous speech of November 18 had anticipated the decision, whilst leaving 
open the possibility that Jews may still be killed by expulsion into an inhospitable climate 
rather than by shooting or gassing. Furthermore, Rosenberg's awareness of the shooting of 
Jews 'as partisans' on Soviet territory had conditioned his reluctance to agree to Frank's 
request to deport Polish Jews to the Ostland in October, whilst his subordinate Wetzel was 
involved in the quest to find gassing solutions. 

Local Exterminations: Chelmno, Serbia and Reich Jews in RK Ostland 

The central decision-making process described above took place against a backdrop in which 
local officials were pressing for permission to kill Jews who had been deported into their 
regions. When consent to kill these Jews was granted, it made the subsequent Europe-wide 
'decision' all the more certain, because a precedent had already been set for killing Jews who 
had been deported into spaces that were unable or unwilling to permanently accommodate 

Pressures to kill Jews locally had already been anticipated in the centre, and the 
centre's acknowledgment indicates the degree of common thinking that existed between 
central and local players. On September 2, 1941, Hoppner (a close associate of the senior 
Warthegau figures Greiser and Koppe) wrote to Eichmann that it was "essential ... that total 
clarity prevails about what finally shall happen to those undesirable ethnic elements deported 
from the greater German resettlement area. Is it the goal to ensure them a certain level of life 
in the long run, or shall they be totally eradicated?" 140 Hoppner was aware that deportation 
could mean death and was therefore seeking clarification. The ensuing months would answer 
his query. 

139 Werner Prag and Wolfgang Jacobmeyer (eds), Das Diensttagebuch des deutschen Generalgouverneurs in 
Polen 1939-1945. Stuttgart, 1975, p.457ff. 

140 Hoppner an Eichmann, 2.9.41, AIPN CA 362/102, pp.45-62; Cf. Gotz Aly, "Endlosung". 
Volkerverschiebung und der Mord an den europdischen Juden, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1995, pp. 334-39; 
Christopher R. Browning, Nazi Policy, Jewish Workers, German Killers. Cambridge: Cambridge University 
Press, 2000, p.37. 


Nazi Policy 

Decision-making to gas Jews at Chelmno was preceded by arguments over 
overcrowding in the Lodz ghetto that resulted from deportation. On October 4, 1941, 
Uebelhoer forwarded a protest to Himmler, written by Hans Biebow, that "were the ghetto a 
pure decimation ghetto, then one could contemplate a pure concentration of Jews." 
Himmler' s response was that the author "did not appear to be an old national socialist" 141 , 
and on October 15, a further 20,000 Jews and 5,000 gypsies were sent to Lodz, thereby 
making the "decimation ghetto" 142 a greater reality. Gassing was agreed between Greiser, 
Koppe and Himmler as a solution to this problem because it resulted in decimation by 
quicker means. 143 The centre [Himmler] was thus responding to local initiative and protest, a 
pattern that was repeated in the Ostland and Serbia. Moreover, this did not require Hitler's 
personal intervention because Hitier had already told Greiser that he could use his own 
discretion in choosing how he dealt with the Jewish problem. 144 

The gassing of Jews at Chelmno was preceded in 1940 by the use of gas vans 
employing bottled CO in the Warthegau and at Soldau, East Prussia, run by Otto Rasch. 145 
The main unit using gas vans in the Warthegau was SK Lange, which was assigned to HSSPF 
Koppe for "special tasks". In the spring of 1940, Koppe loaned the unit to Rediess, the 
HSSPF for East Prussia, to gas mental patients in Soldau: 

[The] so-called Sonderkommando Lange, assigned to me for special tasks, was 
detached to Soldau in East Prussia from 21 May to 8 June, 1940, as per agreement 
with the Reich Main Security Office [RSHA]. During this period, it successfully 
evacuated 1,558 mental patients from the Soldau transit camp. 146 

Koppe referred to Soldau as a 'transit camp' because, in that period, it was also used 

to forcibly resettle Jews from western Polish towns such as Plock into the General 

141 Ventzki an Uebelhoer, 24.9.41, NARA T/175/54/2568671-94; Himmler an Uebelhoer, 10.10.41, NARA 
T/175/54/2568662-63; cf. Browning, Origins, p.331. 

142 The term "decimation ghetto" was repeated by Ribbe on 9.10.41 to justify the ghetto's inability to loan 
Jewish labour to other projects. Browning, Origins, p. 392, citing Ribbe Aktennotizen of meetings on 9.10.41 
and 16.10.41, YVA, JM 800. 

143 For further context, see Michael Alberti, Die Verfolgung und Vernichtung der Juden im Reichsgau 
Wartheland 1939-1945. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2006; Peter Klein, Die'Gettoverwaltung Litzmannstadt' 
1940-1944: Eine Dienststelle im Spannungsfeld von Kommunalbiirokratie und staatlicher Verfolgungspolitik. 
Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2009; Gordon Horwitz, Ghettostadt: Lodz and the making of a Nazi city. 
Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2008; Montague, Chelmno and the Holocaust. 

144 Ian Kershaw, 'Improvised Genocide? The Emergence of the 'Final Solution' in the 'Warthegau',' 
Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6 th Series, 2, 1992, p. 72, citing Greiser an Himmler, 21.11.42, 
BDC, PA Greiser. 

145 Rasch testimony to SS investigation of Soldau, 16.6.43, NO-1073; cf. Peter Witte and Stephen Tyas, 'A New 
Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews during 'Einsatz Reinhard' 1942', HGS 15/3, 2001, p. 486 

146 Koppe an HSSPF Nordost, 18.10.1940, BA NS19/2576, p.3ff., also NO-2908. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Government. 147 However, the use of the obvious euphemism 'evacuated' to mean killed 
suggests that Soldau may have set a precedent for referring to death camps as transit camps, 
which was later applied to Sobibor. 148 A letter from Rediess to Wolff on November 7, 1941, 
revealed that 250-300 "insane persons (Poles) from the area of Zichenau" were added to this 
operation. 149 This letter also had a marginal note, handwritten by Brack, stating that Lange 
had received an advance payment from Rasch. A later letter in this correspondence had a 
handwritten note on top, "Tel. with Obf. Brack." 150 

In August 1941, after Himmler's visit to a shooting site, Bach-Zelewski had asked 
Koppe to send Lange to meet him in Minsk. 151 In October 1941, Koppe forwarded a request 
to Himmler from Army High Command that Lange, five subordinates and the gas van be sent 
to Novgorod to kill 100 Russians suffering from dysentery because the army needed the 
hospital for its own quarters. 152 In late November, Jews from the Bornhagen labour camp 
were gassed. 153 The initiative to gas the Warthegau Jews at Chelmno came from close co- 
operation between Koppe and his Gauletier, Arthur Greiser. The latter wrote to Himmler on 
October 28, 1941, referring to "the agreement reached between us." 154 On May 1, 1942, he 
wrote again and referred to the initial gassing request: 

It will be possible to conclude the action of special treatment of about 100,000 
Jews in the area of my Gau, authorized by yourself with the agreement of the 
head of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Heydrich, within 
the next 2-3 months. 155 

Greiser's figure of 100,000 is close to that given in a letter by Willy Just to Walter Rauff 156 

on June 5, 1942, suggesting improvements to the vans. Just noted that since "December 1941, 

ninety-seven thousand have been processed, using three vans, without any defects showing 

up in the vehicles." 157 In one of his interviews with Sassen, recorded when he was a free man 

147 Browning, Remembering Survival, pp. 53-56. 

148 Himmler an Pohl, 5.7.43, NO-482. 

149 Rediess an Wolf, 7.11.1940, NO-2909. 

150 Koppe an Wolff, 22.2.1941, NO-2911. 

151 Dienstkalender, p. 195 n.15, citing British wireless intercepts. 

152 PRO, HW 16/32, 4.10.41. 

153 The graves were exhumed after the war and the leader of the action, Ferdinand Goehler, was given a life 
sentence by a court in Stuttgart. Browning, Origins, 2004, p.542 n.144, citing JuNSV, Bd. VII, Nr. 231b, 
pp.217-33, Urteil LG Stuttgart 3 Ks 31/49. 

154 Catherine Epstein, Model Nazi: Arthur Greiser and the Occupation of Western Poland, Oxford, 2010, p. 185, 
citing Greiser am Himmler 28.10.41 BAB, NS19/2655, 49. 

155 Greiser an Himmler, 1.5.42, BA NS19/1585, p.l-R, also NO-246. 

156 Just an Rauff, 5.6.42, BA R 58/871, cited in Eugen Kogon, Hermann Langbein and Adalbert Riickerl (eds), 
Nationalsozialistische Massentotungen durch Giftgas. Eine Dokumentation. Frankfurt, 1986, pp. 333-37. 

157 Five other gas van documents involving Rauff are cited in Mathias Beer, 'Die Entwicklung der Gaswagen 
beim Mord an den Juden,' Vierteljahreshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte, 37/3, pp.403-417. These are: Rauff an der KTI 
[Kriminaltechnisches Institut], 26.3.1942. Copy in ZSL, Folder: Verschiedenes Nr.227; Schafer an Rauff, 


Nazi Policy 

in Argentina, Eichmann stated that "Later in that same winter [1941] Miiller sent me to watch 
Jews being gassed in the Litzmannstadt area of central Poland." 158 

The gassings in the Warthegau have four important implications for Nazi decision- 
making that are simply not comprehended by Mattogno. Firstly, the gassings did not require 
an order; Greiser clearly refers instead to the gassings being "authorized by yourself with the 
agreement of the head of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Heydrich." 
Secondly, permission to gas 100,000 Jews locally could be given without that action 
requiring a general policy having already been decided to exterminate all Europe's Jews. 
Thirdly, the progression from such local killings to a Europe-wide killing program did not 
involve a massive moral and political leap: the moral boundary had already been crossed long 
before the full program was authorized and implemented. Fourthly, the technical means to 
gas these Jews had been evolved, in co-operation with the KTI, in response to practical local 
problems in Serbia, the Ostland and the Warthegau, and such evolution did not require a 
master plan but simply a shared problem-solving bureaucracy that operated from the 
assumption that Jewish lives were expendable. 

Extermination in Serbia escalated from shooting reprisals in the autumn of 1941 to the 
use of gas vans in the spring of 1942, the latter coinciding with the use of gas vans at 
Chelmno and at Maly Trostinets. In mid-August, 1941, Harald Turner, the chief of military 
administration in Serbia requested (via Benzler) that all Jews be deported down the Danube 
to Rumania or the General Government. This request was declined, but a month later, Turner 
persuaded Benzler to make an appeal to Rademacher, requesting deportation of the Jews to 
Poland or the USSR. Rademacher recorded the reply that he received in a handwritten note 
that was subsequentiy presented in evidence at the Eichmann trial: 

In the opinion of Sturmbannfuhrer Eichmann, RSHA IVD4, there is no possibility 
to take them to Russia or to the Generalgouvernement. Even Jews from Germany 
cannot be accommodated there. Eichmann proposes to kill them by shooting. 159 

9.6.1942, 501-PS; Truehe an Rauff, 15.6.1942, 501-PS; Becker an Rauff, 16.5.1942, 501-PS; letter by Firma 
Gaubschat [Company/manufacturer] to the Referat [sub-department] IID 3a of the RSHA [Rauff], 14.5.1942, 
ZSL, USA Dok. Film I, B1.28. Beer cites Rauff's admission, given as a free man in Santiago in 1972, that "I 
think, it is impossible that Pradel undertook the development of the gas- vans on his own. He must have had an 
order either by me or someone with a higher position." The deposition is on-line; English translation by Roberto 
Muehlenkamp: http://nizkor.Org/ftp.cgi/people/r/ (StA Hamburg, Az. 
147 Js 31/67; ZSL, Az.II 415 AR-Z 1310/63-E32, B1.545). Rauff had no fear of extradition because West 
Germany's extradition request was denied by the Chilean Supreme Court in 1963. 

158 'Eichmann Tells His Own Damning Story', Life 49/22, 28.11.60, p.102. 

159 Telegram from Benzler to Foreign Ministry concerning the expulsion of Jews in areas of Serbia, 12.9.41, 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

In the meantime, the Wehrmacht, under the command of Bohme, began to shoot Jews 
under the pretext of the need to fill 1:100 reprisal quotas. Such reprisals were not, however, 
for crimes committed by Jews but were instead inflicted on Jews in lieu of Serb partisans who 
had not been captured in sufficient numbers to meet the quotas. Turner admitted that this was 
morally wrong in a private letter dated October 17, 1941, sent to Hildebrandt: 

In the last 8 days, I have had 2,000 Jews and 200 Gypsies shot dead, following 
the quota of 1:100 for brutally murdered German soldiers, and a further 2,200, 
also nearly all Jews, will be shot in the next 8 days. That is not pleasant work! But 
it must be done, in order to make it clear to people what it means to attack a 
German soldier, while at the same time, the Jewish question solves itself most 
quickly in this way. Actually, it is wrong, if taken literally, that for murdered 
Germans, for whom the ratio of 1:100 should come at the expense of the Serbs, 
100 Jews will now be shot, but they are the ones we happened to have in the 
camp... 160 

On October 26, Turner ordered that "Jews and Gypsies" were "a danger to public 

order and safety" and that all male Jews and Gypsies would therefore be put "at the disposal 

of the troops as hostages." 161 The background to Turner's order was a meeting on October 20 

in Belgrade between Turner, Rademacher, Suhr and Fuchs, in which it was decided that male 

Jews would be held as hostages and gradually killed to meet reprisal quotas against Serb 

(non-Jew) partisans, whilst evacuation of women & children 'to the East' was agreed for a 

future unspecified date. However, this evacuation did not take the form of expulsion, but 

instead took the form of gas vans the following spring, which Turner falsely claimed credit 

for in his letter to Wolff: 

Already some months ago, I shot dead all the Jews I could get my hands on in this 
area, concentrated all the Jewish women and children in a camp and with the help 
of the SD got my hands on a "delousing van," that in about 14 days to 4 weeks 
will have brought about the definitive clearing out of the camp, which in any 
event since the arrival of Meyssner and the turning over of this camp to him, was 
continued by him. Then the time is come in which the Jewish officers to be found 
in prisoner of war camps under the Geneva Convention find out against our will 
about their no longer existing kinfolk and that could easily lead to 

160 Turner to Hildebrandt, 17.10.41, NO-5810. On the murder of Serbian Jews see Walter Manoschek, 'Serbien 
ist judenfrei'. Militdrische Besatzungspolitik und Judenvemichtung in Serbien 1941/2. Munich, 1993; English- 
language summary as 'The Extermination of the Jews in Serbia', in Ulrich Herbert (ed), National Socialist 
Extermination Policies. Contemporary German Perspectives and Controversies. London, 2000, pp. 163-187, 
here p. 177; for a pen-portrait of Harald Turner see Christopher R. Browning, 'Harald Turner und die 
Militarverwaltung in Serbien 1941-1942', Dieter Rebentisch and Karl Teppe (eds), Verwaltung contra 
Menschenfiihrung im Staat Hitlers. Studien zum politisch-administrativen System, Gottingen, 1986, pp. 351-373; 
for an essay on Turner, Biebow and Rademacher, see Browning, Path, pp. 126-41. 

161 Turner's order to all district and field commands, 26.10.41, NOKW-802. 


Nazi Policy 

complications. 162 

Turner admitted that 'Entlausungswagen' was a euphemism for gas van by placing the 
term in inverted commas. 163 The gas van had been ordered direct from Berlin by the head of 
the Security Police in Belgrade, Emanuel Schafer, who admitted this in his West German 
postwar trial testimony at both his trial in Cologne 164 and Pradel's trial in Hannover. After the 
gassings, Schafer reported back to Berlin noting that the two drivers of the "special Saurer 
truck", Gotz and Meyer, "had carried out their special task." 165 Army records cited in the 
Schafer trial judgment show that the victims were women and children. 166 Serbia therefore 
illustrates how a reprisal mentality that had racial targets could escalate into a policy of 
gassing racial groups. 

Decision-making in the Ostland was initiated, as shown above, by Hitier's decision in 
September 1941 that Reich Jews were to be deported as a reprisal measure, meaning that their 
lives were in severe peril. There is compelling evidence that the deaths of some German Jews 
deported to RK Ostland were decided before the formal Hitler decision to kill all Europe's 
Jews was communicated to the German hierarchy in December. 167 The decision was made 
whilst Lohse was visiting Berlin for two weeks commencing in on October 25. It can be 
inferred from the fact that, on October 27, Lange told Lohse that "essential work" on the 
camps had not yet commenced and that other arrangements could be made if the camps were 
not ready (other arrangements being code for shooting or for the gassing device in Wetzel's 
draft of October 25). 168 This can be inferred from the fact that Lange's letter of November 8, 
which announced the deportations of 25,000 Jews each to Riga and Minsk, revealed that five 
transports may be sent to Kaunas. Lange and Lohse would have known that Kaunas had a 
killing site (Fort IX) but no camps for holding the Jews. The resultant killings were recorded 
in the Jager Report: 

25.11.41 Kauen-F.IX 1,159 Jews, 1,600 Jewesses, 175 Jewish children (resettlers 
from Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt am Main) 2,934 

162 Turner an Wolff, 11.4.42, NARA- BDC SS-OA Harald Turner; also online at http://www.holocaust- 
history. org/ 1942 04 1 1-turner-wolf f . 

163 Carlo Mattogno, Raul Hilberg e i «centri di sterminio» nazionalsocialisti' , AAARGH, 2008, p. 79, cites this 
document but follows Weckert's example by ignoring the meaning of the inverted commas and taking the term 
Entlausungswagen literally. Mattogno does not explain why a delousing van would be required to 'clear out a 
camp' nor does he confront the last sentence concerning 'no longer existing kinfolk'. 

164 JuNSV Bd. XI, Nr. 362; cf. Browning, Path, Cambridge, 1992, p.137. 

165 Schafer an Pradel, RSHA II D 3, 9.6.42, 501-PS. 

166 JuNSV Bd. XI, Nr. 362, Griinde, p. 5: Online: . 

167 Andrej Angrick and Peter Witte, The "final solution" in Riga: exploitation and annihilation, 1941-1944. 
Oxford: Berghahn, 2009. 

168 Browning, Origins, 2004, p.333, citing RK Ostland Vermerk, initialled by Wetzel, 27.10.41 YVA, JM 3435 

(YIVO Berlin Collection Occ E3-30). 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

29.11.41 Kauen-F.IX 693 Jews, 1,155 Jewesses, 152 Jewish children (resettlers 
from Vienna and Breslau) 2,000. 169 

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 151 linked these killings to an Aktion carried out by 

Jeckeln in Riga on November 30: 

The first three transports that were to come to Riga were sent to Kaunas. The 
Riga camp that is to admit about 25,000 Jews is being built and will be completed 
very soon. 

In the meantime, the Higher SS Police in Riga, SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Jeckeln 
started a [mass] shooting action on Sunday, November 30, 1941. He removed 
about 4,000 Jews from the Riga ghetto and from an evacuation transport of Jews 
from Germany. The action was originally intended to be carried out with the 
forces of the Higher SS and Police Chief; however, after a few hours, 20 men of 
EK 2 who were sent there for security purposes were also employed in the 
shooting. 170 

The killings were organized at local level in a meeting between Peter Kleist and Jager on 

November 22. Kleist's notebook provides confirmation of the meeting and some of the 

killings. The entry for December 1 states that Lohse was present at the previous day's 

massacre of German and Latvian Jews in Riga. Lohse voluntarily admitted that he had been 

present at the massacre when interrogated by West German authorities on April 19, 1950. 

The Riga massacre was also noted by Bernhard Losener on December 19, 1941. m Himmler 

had belatedly attempted to avert this massacre by issuing a "keine Liquidierung" order, 

possibly because executions had only been authorized explicitly for Kaunas, or because local 

protests against prior killings had prompted Berlin to urge a pause. 172 In either case, the 

wording "keine Liquidierung" clearly expresses an exception being made that acknowledges 

that liquidations were taking place elsewhere. 

We can infer three reasons why Lohse insisted that the Reich Jews be killed. Firstly, 

the reception camps in Riga that had been promised for these Jews were not ready. Secondly, 

Lohse and his colleagues believed the camps should have been set up further east. Thirdly, 

Army Group Centre was likely to oppose the deportations, and this is precisely what 

transpired in the case of the 25,000 scheduled to be deported to Minsk. On November 20, at 

the instigation of von Greiffenberg, the Wehrmachtbefehlshaber Ostland (Walter Braemer) 

complained that "The influx of German Jews, far superior in intelligence to the bulk of the 

169 Jager report of EK 3, 1.12.41, RGVA 500-1-25. 

170 EM 151, 5.1.42. 

171 Gerlach, 'Wannsee Conference', pp. 768-69, citing Kleist, personal notebook, entries for 22.11.41 and 
1.12.41, Staatsanwaltschaft Hamburg 147 Js 29/67, vol. 65, fol. 12460, interrogation of Hinrich Lohse, 19.4.50., 
Staatsanwaltschaft Hannover 2 Js 499/61, Sonderheft 4, fols. 82ff, and Bernhard Losener, 'Als Rassereferent im 
Reichsministerium des Innern', VfZ, 9/3, 1961. 

172 Dienstkalender, p.278 (30.11.41). 


Nazi Policy 

Belorussian population constitutes a severe danger for the pacification of White Ruthenia, the 
Jewish population of which is made up of Bolsheviks capable of any hostile, anti-German 
stance." 173 

As a result of these protests, deportations from the old Reich to Minsk ceased on 
November 28, and only 7,000 of the 25,000 Jews were transported. This incident 
demonstrates, in miniature, why the Wehrmacht would never have consented to the 
resettlement of Jews in the USSR. 

Minsk's leading administrator, Kube, sent a letter to Lohse on December 16, 1941, 
noting that the Reich Jews would die of cold in Minsk, and requesting that Lohse order their 
killing by a more humane method. 174 Kube made a further veiled request on February 6, 
1942, when he noted that "because the ground in White Russia is frozen down to a depth of 
two meters, other possibilities were also not available". 175 This echoed the note, cited above, 
made by Hofmann a week earlier, stating that "the ground is too frozen to dig pits which 
would then be available as mass graves for the Jews" but that "in the spring large-scale 
executions would be initiated again." 176 

In April and May 1942, Hofmann' s prediction was fulfilled: extermination was 
resumed both of Soviet Jews and of deported Jews in the Ostland. From May 6 to October 5, 
1942, seventeen transports departed from the Reich to GK White Ruthenia, carrying a 
minimum of 16,395 Jews. From August 15 to October 26, 1942, seven transports went from 
the Reich to the Baltic region, carrying a minimum of 6,601 Jews. 177 These transports would 
mostly have been routed across the Germany-Lithuania border, as this route had been 
documented for the Diisseldorf-Riga transport of December 12, 1941, by Salitter: 

At 12.10 hours the train left Konitz. The journey then continued via Dirschau, 
Marienburg, Elbing to Koenigsberg Pr. At 1.50 hours it went onto Tilsit. 

At 5.15 hours the frontier -station of Laugszargen and 15 minutes later, the 

Lithuanian station of Tauroggen were reached 


173 Hilberg, Destruction, Vol. 2, 2003, p. 366, citing Wehrmachtbefehlshaber Ostland/Ic an Reichskommissar 
Ostland, 20.11.41, Occ E 3-34. 

174 Kube an Lohse, 16.12.41, facsimile in Max Weinrich, Hitler's Professors, New York, 1946, p.l53ff. 

175 Browning, Origins, p.394, citing Kube an Lohse, 6.2.42, YVA, JM 3455. 

176 Protokoll iiber den Hergang der Hauptabteilungsleiter- und Abteilungsleiterbesprechung am 29.1.42, NARB 
370-1-53, p.165. 

177 Alfred Gottwaldt und Diana Schulle, Die Judendeportationen aus dem Deutschen Reich 1941-1942. Eine 
kommentierte Chronologie, Wiesbaden, 2005, p.230ff. Their minimums per destination are 7,900 Minsk, 6,506 
Maly Trostinec, 993 Koidanov and 996 Baranovichi; 4500 to Riga and 2051 to Raasiku. 

178 Report by Hauptmann Salitter of the Security Police on the transport of Jews from Diisseldorf to Riga; 
Dusseldorf, 11.12.41, T/303. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

The political situation in Minsk had been tense. Planning as of March 1942 was a 
subject of hostility between Kube and Strauch. On July 25, 1943, Strauch wrote a report to 
von dem Bach that described this period, complaining that "the Gauleiter used his knowledge 
to save his Jews." 179 However, Kube's intervention was not motivated by a desire to 
permanently save these doomed Jews, but by a wish to give them a more 'humane' or 
'dignified' death. Kube's resistance may have been one of the factors that led Heydrich to 
visit Minsk in April 1942. 180 The visit was followed soon after by the beginning of 
deportations from Austria, Germany and the Protectorate to GK White Ruthenia, to the 
killing site at Maly Trostinets. These consisted of at least seventeen transports departing 
between May and October 1942. 181 A further transport was diverted to Baranovichi and 
liquidated on July 31, 1942. 182 

Heydrich' s visit also coincided with a new wave of killings in other parts of the GK. 
Thus Kube reported on July 31, 1942 that "we have liquidated about 55,000 Jews in 
Byelorussia in the past 10 weeks," including the "Jews incapable of work, who were sent to 
Minsk in November of last year by order of the Fiihrer, mainly from Vienna, Bruenn, Bremen 
and Berlin." 183 The Aktion was described even more explicitly in an Activity Report on 
August 3, 1942: "Between July 25 and 27, new trenches were dug. During the Grossaktion on 
July 28 in the Russian section, 6,000 Jews are taken to the pit. On July 29, 3,000 German 
Jews are brought to the pit." 184 On May 17, 1942, the same author had written that "On May 
11 a transport of Jews (1,000 head) from Vienna arrived in Minsk and were moved 
immediately from the station to the trench" and that "For this reason the platoon was 
deployed right by the pit." 185 In court testimony given in Koblenz on October 30, 1962, 
defendant Karl Dalheimer admitted that in 1942 he had stood at the edge of an open grave in 

179 Strauch an von dem Bach, 25.7.43, BA NS19/1770, pp.15-27, also NO-2662, NO-4315 and NO-4317. 

180 JuNSV Bd. XIX, Nr. 552, p.192, Urteil gegen Heuser, LG Koblenz, Ks 9/62, 21.5.1963; cf. Longerich, 
Holocaust, p. 323. 

181 See the file of Haupteisenbahndirection Mitte, NARB 378-1-784; cf. Longerich, Holocaust, p.322; Gerlach, 
'Wannsee Conference', p. 804, citing Transport Lists of the Vienna Transports, highlighted in JuNSV Bd. XIX, 
Nr. 552; cf. also Gottwaldt and Schulle, Judendeportationen, p.237ff. 

182 KdS Minsk an HBD Mitte, 31.7.42, gez. Heuser, NARB 378-1-784; cf. Yehuda Bauer, 'Jewish Baranowicze 
in the Holocaust', Yad Vashem Studies, 31, 2003, pp. 95-152; JuNSV Bd. XIX, Nr. 552. 

183 Kube an Lohse, 28.7.42, PS-3428. 

184 Tatigkeitsbericht Arlt, 3.8.42, published in Unsere Ehre heisst Treue. Kriegstagebuch des Kommandostabes 
Reichsfiihrer SS. Tdtigkeitsberichte der 1 und 2. SS-Infanterie-Brigade, der 1. SS-Kavallerie-Brigade und von 
Sonderkommandos der SS. Vienna, 1984, p. 242; cf. Hans Safrian, Eichmann's Men, New York: Cambridge 
University Press, 2010, p. 127; Petra Rentrop, Tatorte der 'Endlosung'. Das Ghetto Minsk und die 
Vernichtungsstdtte von Maly Trostinez. Berlin: Metropol, 2011 

185 Tatigkeitsbericht Arlt, 17.5.42 in Unsere Ehre heisst Treue, p. 236; cf. Safrian, Eichmann's Men, p. 126. 


Nazi Policy 

Minsk and shot Reich Jews in the back of the neck. 186 The killing of many of these deported 
Jews was done in gas vans. This was made clear in a telex of June 15, 1942: 

A transport of Jews, which is to be subjected to special treatment, arrives weekly 
at the office of the commandant of the Security Police and Security Service of 
White Ruthenia. 

The three S-vans there are not sufficient for that purpose. I request assignment of 
another S-van (five tons). At the same time, I request the shipment of twenty gas 
hoses for the three S-vans on hand (two Diamond, one Saurer), because the ones 
on hand are already leaky. 187 

August Becker, a gas van specialist who liaised in the Ostland, testified on March 26, 

1960, to having witnessed killings in Minsk: 

In Riga I learned from Standartenfuhrer Potzelt, Deputy Commander of the Security 
Police and SD in Riga, that the Einsatzkommando operating in Minsk needed some 
additional gas-vans as it could not manage with the three existing vans it had. At the 
same time I also learned from Potzelt that there was a Jewish-extermination camp in 
Minsk. I flew to Minsk by helicopter, correction, in a Fieseler Storch [light aircraft] 
belonging to the Einsatzgruppe. Travelling with me was Hauptsturmfuhrer Riihl, the 
head of the extermination camp at Minsk, with whom I had discussed business in Riga. 
During the journey Riihl proposed to me that I provide additional vans since they could 
not keep up with the exterminations. As I was not responsible for the ordering of gas- 
vans I suggested Riihl approach Rauff's office. When I saw what was going on in 
Minsk — that people of both sexes were being exterminated in their masses, that was it 
— I could not take any more and three days later, it must have been September 1942, I 
travelled back by lorry via Warsaw to Berlin. I had intended to report to Rauff at his 
office in Berlin. However, he was not there. Instead I was received by his deputy, 
Pradel, who had meantime been promoted to Major. ... In a private conversation lasting 
about an hour I described to Pradel the working method of the gas-vans and voiced 
criticism about the fact that the offenders had not been gassed but had been suffocated 
because the operators had set the engine incorrectly. I told him that people had vomited 
and defecated. Pradel listened to me without saying a word. At the end of our interview 
he simply told me to write a detailed report on the matter. Finally he told me to go to 
the cashier's office to settle up the expenses I had incurred during my trip. 188 

A driver of one such gas van, Josef Wendl, testified in Austria in October 1970 that he 

was loaned by EK 8 in Mogilev (where he had gassed prisoners) to KdS Minsk, and gassed a 

trainload of Austrian Jews at Maly Trostinets on September 14, 1942: 

I heard also that Jews from the Reich were coming and would be gassed... Resistance 
would have been useless, so I didn't offer any. I loaded these people in and drove to the 
pit. I had seen that the van was nearly full, that about fifty people were inside. ..The van 
ran on idle while gassing. It really should have been run with the choke, so that the gas 
mixture would be richer, and the people inside would die more quickly. But the choke 




JuNSV Bd. XIX, Lfd Nr. 552; 'Ex-Nazi Tells Ghastly Tale', St. Petersburg Times, 31.10.62. 
FS BdS Ostland an RSHA II 3 D A, 15.6.42, gez Triihe, 501-PS, IMT XXVI, p.108. 
Klee, The Good Old Days, pp. 70-71. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

didn't work in my van. I then drove back... [and] received orders to bring all the luggage 
to Trostinets. On the day I was on assignment there, 600 people were gassed. 189 

In addition to gassing, the Germans continued to shoot thousands of Jews. Strauch 

had referred to 'resettlement', 'evacuation' and 'pits' in his Einsatzbefehl of February 5, 

1943, for the extermination of Jews in Slutsk: 

On 8 and 9 February 1943 there will be a resettlement in the town Slutsk by the 
local command. . .The evacuation of the Jews to the resettlement place happens by 
means of 6 trucks, each to be accompanied by 4 Latvians. . .At each pit a group of 
10 leaders and men will work, to be relieved every 2 hours. Times 8-10 o'clock, 
10-12 o'clock, 12-14 o'clock, 14-16 o'clock. . . 

The document continued with a reference to the giving out of cartridges. 190 

In summary, therefore, localized killing in Chelmno, Serbia and Minsk had helped 

bring gassing technology to the center of the Final Solution through the use of gas vans. The 

demands of local officials to eradicate Jews had brought fresh momentum to the quest for 

killing solutions which then fed into the radicalization of the Europe-wide Final Solution 

using gassing technologies. 

Mattogno's response to this mass of evidence is to ignore most of it whilst 

systematically distorting the rest. For example, he quotes Kube's letter to Lohse of February 

6, 1942 191 , but omits the key passage stating that "because the ground in White Russia is 

frozen down to a depth of two meters, other possibilities were also not available." 192 

Thomas Kues, meanwhile, makes a risible attempt to deny the reality of policy in 

Serbia 193 . Kues claims that "Due to the significant involvement of Jews in the very active 

Serbian partisan movement, a large number of Serbian Jews were killed as hostages", but this 

is clearly refuted by Turner's admission to Hildebrandt that "it is wrong, if taken literally, 

that for murdered Germans, for whom the ratio of 1:100 should come at the expense of the 

Serbs, 100 Jews will now be shot, but they are the ones we happened to have in the camp ..." 

Kues then claims that "a large number of Serbian Jews were shot, not primarily because of 

their ethnicity, but because of reasons of military security, and this as a last resort", but this is 

also false because Turner had written that "the Jewish question solves itself most quickly in 

this way" as partially explaining motive. Kues contradicts himself by claiming that the Jews 

189 Patricia Heberer, 'Justice in Austrian Courts?', p. 237, citing testimony of Josef W., Strafsache gegen Josef 
W., Bd. IX, ON 117, p.16. 

190 Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei Weifiruthenien, Einsatzbefehl v. 5.2.43, RGVA 500-1-769, pp. 113-16; 
JuNSV Bd. XIX, Nr. 552, pp.198-200; cf. Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, p.734. 

191 M&G, Treblinka, p.198. 

192 Browning, Origins, p.394, citing Kube an Lohse, 6.2.42, YVA, JM 3455. 


Kues, 'Evidence for the Presence of "Gassed" Jews in the Occupied Eastern Territories, Part 1', Inconvenient 

History, 2/2. 


Nazi Policy 

were shot "as a last resort" but then claiming that Jewish women and children were "deported 
east", thus failing to explain why the men could not also have been deported. Moreover, 
Kues' admission that a request by Ribbentrop to Himmler on October 2, 1941, to deport the 
Jews was rejected contradicts Mattogno's thesis in Sobibor that a resettlement policy was 
agreed in September. 

Most ludicrously of all, Kues insists that Rademacher's report of October 25, 1941, 
specifying the evacuation of women and children disproves Turner's letter of April 11, 1942, 
thereby ignoring the subsequent radicalization of policy after that date and the fact that 
Rademacher received a letter from Wurm dated October 23, 1941, that "many of the Jewish 
vermin will be exterminated through special measures." This indicates that the women and 
children would have died in the East after deportation, and that the policy change after 
October was simply to send the gas van to Serbia instead. The methodological absurdity of 
using a document from October 1941 to refute a policy that specifically applied to April 1942 
exposes Kues' mendacity. Moreover, Kues' quotation from Rademacher's report omits the 
crucial preceding phrase, "As soon as the technical possibility exists within the scope of the 
total solution of the Jewish question", which hints at the experiments with killing methods 
that were noted by Wurm and Wetzel three and five days later. 

The Europe-Wide Final Solution, January 1942 - March 1943 

The Wannsee Protocol 194 is silent on the fate of non-working Jews. Given that the document 
claims to be concerned with resettlement, this is a case where silence implies intent to kill. 
The fate of the working Jews also makes this inference the only plausible one: 

Under proper guidance, in the course of the final solution the Jews are to be 
allocated for appropriate labour in the East. Able-bodied Jews, separated 
according to sex, will be taken in large work columns to these areas for work on 
roads, in the course of which action doubtless a large portion will be eliminated 
by natural causes. 

The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly consist of the most 
resistant portion, have to be treated accordingly, because it is the product of 
natural selection and would, if released, act as a the seed of a new Jewish revival 
(see the experience of history.) 

194 Besprechungsprotokoll, Am Grossen Wannsee Nr. 56-58, 20 Jan. 1942, Berlin, 20.1.42, NG-2586-G. In 
Treblinka, M&G claim that "there is well-founded doubt as to the authenticity of the Wannsee Protocol" (p. 187 
n.537), but in Sobibor they pronounce that "the authors of the present work... see no need to doubt its 
authenticity" (p. 205 n.602). Moreover, later documents in the same IMT bundle refer to the Protocol, and M&G 
use at least one of the bundle's documents (Luther memorandum, 21.8.42, NG-2586-J) in support of their own 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

There is policy continuity between these paragraphs and Wetzel's discussion of 
"Vergassungsapparate" (the Protocol can only be read as stating that unfit Jews will receive 
the same treatment as the "final remnant") but at Wannsee the discussion had clearly shifted 
to include all of Europe's Jews. 

Mattogno claims that the Wannsee Protocol cannot refer to the extermination of the 
unfit because the phrase "if released" must mean that the Jews were to be held in captivity. 
However, the passage as a whole refers to the death of the Jews: the phrase "if released" is 
written in the context of "eliminated by natural causes" in the previous paragraph; it is meant 
to convey the meaning that Jews were a historical virus that must not be allowed back into 
the ecosystem ("see the experience of history"). Mattogno also denies the killing of the unfit 
on the basis that the Protocol allowed for transports of old persons to Theresienstadt. 
However, this omits the fact that transport documents referred to Theresienstadt as a 
'Propagandalager'. For example, the Eichmann trial documentation included a minute by 
Zoepf from October 5, 1942, stating that according to Eichmann, Jews who, on account of 
their age or merits, could not be put on the same footing with other Auschwitz Jews may be 
transferred at any time from Westerbork to the "Propaganda camp" Theresienstadt. 195 
Moreover, if Theresienstadt is the only reference in the Protocol to the unfit, this simply 
highlights the silence of the document concerning other unfit Jews. 

In his Old Fighters' speech of February 24, 1942, Hitler declared that "through this 
war, Aryan humankind will not be annihilated, but the Jew will be exterminated." 196 In his 
diary entry of April 27, 1942, Goebbels recorded a similar threat by the Fiihrer, who stated 
that "the hardest punishment that one can impose upon [the Jews] is still too lenient." 197 

At the Final Solution conference of March 6, 1942, it was stated that it had come 
down from the "highest quarter" (Hitler) that "it was in no way tenable to keep the half -Jews 
permanently alive as a small race". It was thus clearly known that full Jews were not to be 
kept alive. 198 

On March 27, 1942, Goebbels revealed the fate of the non-working Jews, whilst also 
repeating The Wannsee Protocol's formulation for the workers: 

The Jews are now being pushed out of the General Government, beginning near 
Lublin, to the East. A pretty barbaric procedure is being applied here, and it is not 

195 Minute by Zoepf, 5.10.42, T/537. 

196 Max Domarus, Hitler. Reden und Proklamationen 1932-1945. 2 Bde. Wiesbaden, 1973, II, p. 1844; cf. Aly, 
Endlosung, p. 404; Richard J Evans, David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial, electronic edition, 2000. 

197 TBJG II/4, p.184 (27.4.1942). 

198 Besprechungsniederschrift der Besprechung iiber die Endlosung der Judenfrage, 6.3.1942, NG-2586 (H); 


Nazi Policy 

to be described in any more detail, and not much is left of the Jews themselves. In 
general one may conclude that 60% of them must be liquidated, while only 40% 
can be put to work. The former Gauleiter of Vienna [Globocnik], who is carrying 
out this action, is doing it pretty prudently and with a procedure that doesn't work 
too conspicuously. 

The 60-40 split between those immediately selected for gassing and those "put to 
work" suggests that the Nazis were still being conservative in the targets they announced to 
their inner circle compared to the actual proportions that were selected. 

A final confirmation that resettlement of Jews in Siberia had been abandoned as 
policy by May 1942 was contained in Wetzel's document, Opinion and Ideas Regarding the 
General Plan for the East of the Reichsfuhrer-SS, dated April 27, 1942. Wetzel wrote that: 

An evacuation of the Jews also mentioned in the plan is no longer necessary due 
to the solution of the Jewish question. An eventual transfer of the Jews still 
remaining after the end of this war to forced labour camps in the northern Russian 
and Siberian territory is no "evacuation". Of the alien peoples to be considered for 
evacuation there thus remain to be discussed only the Poles, Western Ukrainians 
(it is not quite clear if by "Galicians" the plan means Poles or Ukrainians) and 
White Ruthenians. 

It was clear from Wetzel's language that the "the Jews still remaining after the end of 

this war" would be only a small remnant of the original population, echoing the Wannsee 

Protocol's reference to a "possible final remnant" that would "have to be treated 

accordingly." Non-working Jews would have already been liquidated so could not be 

resettled. Wetzel contrasted their fate with that of the Poles: 

It should be clear that one cannot solve the Polish question by liquidating the 
Poles like the Jews. Such a solution of the Polish question would incriminate the 
German people until a distant future and take away our sympathies everywhere, 
especially as all other neighbouring peoples will have to count on being treated 
similarly when the time comes. 200 

In January 1942, Himmler began planning a system of closed camps whose inmates 

would be Jewish forced labourers. 201 The previous extermination of Soviet POW's had left 

him with no other options than to use some Jewish labour. Pohl acknowledged the new policy 

on April 30, 1942, but noted that the Jewish labour would be worked to death; the work 

would be "exhaustive in the true sense of the word." 202 Eighteen days later, Miiller wrote to 

Jager, following the execution of 630 workers in Minsk, to inform him that Jews aged 16-32 

199 TBJG II/3, p.561 (27.3.1942). 

200 Helmut Heiber, 'Der Generalplan Ost', VfZ Jahrgang 6, 1958, pp.281-325. 

201 Himmler an Gliicks, 25.1.1942, BA NS19/1920, p.l, also NO-500; cf. Ulrich Herbert, 'Labour and 
Extermination: Economic Interest and the Primacy of Weltanschauung in National Socialism', Past and Present, 
No. 138, Feb., 1993, pp.144-95. 

202 Pohl an Himmler, 30.4.1942, R-129, IMT XXXVIII, p.362ff. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

in these camps were to be "excluded from special treatment [Sonderbehandlung] until further 
notice." This was another document where Sonderbehandlung was clearly used to mean 
killing. 203 This also converges with Wisliceny's testimony that an extermination order had 
been shown to him in April 1942 stating that Jews fit for work were to be excluded and 
placed in concentration camps. 204 On June 23, 1942, Brack wrote the following to Himmler, 
making a clear connection between sterilization and extermination: 

Among 10 millions of Jews in Europe there are, I figure, at least 2-3 millions of 
men and women who are fit enough to work. Considering the extraordinary 
difficulties the labor problem presents us with, I hold the view that those 3 
millions should be specially selected and preserved. This can, however, only be 
done if at the same time they are rendered incapable to propagate. About a year 
ago I reported to you that agents of mine had completed the experiments 
necessary for this purpose. I would like to recall these facts once more. 
Sterilization, as normally performed on persons with hereditary diseases, is here 
out of the question, because it takes too long and is too expensive. Castration by 
X-ray however is not only relatively cheap, but can also be performed on many 
thousands in the shortest time. I think, that at this time it is already irrelevant 
whether the people in question become aware of having been castrated after some 
weeks or months once they feel the effects. 205 

On April 10, 1942, Heydrich informed Slovakian Prime Minister, Tuka, that "half a 
million" Jews were to be deported "from Europe to the East." Countries affected were to 
include Slovakia, the Reich, the Protectorate, France, Belgium and Holland. 206 In the same 
period, Heydrich visited Minsk 207 and Paris as part of the preparation for these deportations. 

Between March 11 and May 25, 1942, thirty transports left the Reich for transit 
ghettos in the Lublin region, but in June 1942, most Reich Jews deported to this region went 
directly to Sobibor. 208 A circular by Eichmann stated that on June 15, 1942, a transport to 
Tzbica' would include 450 mental patients from Bendorf-Rhein 209 , but subsequent Gestapo 
reports show 142 mental patients being sent on that train in covered G-Wagen. 210 Given that 
MGK claim that sick Jews were 'euthanized' at Sobibor, it would be highly hypocritical of 
them to deny the true fate of these deportees. A destination of Sobibor is also known for 
certain for the Vienna transport documented by Fischmann 211 , whose name is spelt by 

203 FS Miiller an Jager, Betr.: Endgiiltige Losung der Judenfrage, 18.5.1942, RGVA 500-1-25, p. 379. 

204 Testimony of Dieter Wisliceny, 3.1.46, IMT IV, pp.355-73; copied T/58. 

205 Brack an Himmler, 23.6.1942, BA NS19/1583, p.34-R, also NO-205. Brack's original sterilization proposal 
was made to Himmler on 28.3.41, NO-203. 

206 Longerich, Holocaust, p. 328. 

207 Helmut Heiber, 'Aus den Akten das Gauleiters Kube', Vierteljahrshefte fur Zeitgeschichte 4, 1956, pp. 67-92. 

208 Mattogno conflates these two time periods in order to disguise the escalation point. 

209 Photocopies of documents from the Dusseldorf Files, 21.4.42-30.6.42 (Vol. Ill, pp.1357-58), T/1400. 

210 Dusseldorf File No. 2 (Vol. Ill, pp.1356-57), T/1396. 

211 Fischmann report, 20.6.42. YVA, Q-51/163/42-43. 


Nazi Policy 

Mattogno as 'Frischmann.' 212 Significantly, Fischmann referred to Sobibor as a "labour 
camp", which was obviously a euphemism. Kues attempts to neutralize this by claiming that 
Fischmann made an error, but his claim relies on a totally a priori assumption (a fallacy of 
personal incredulity) that the Nazis would not have used three different euphemisms for 
'death camp'. 213 Kues has to break the 'Occam's Razor' rule to make this neutralization 
attempt. Given that Kues concedes that Fischmann was not fully informed about Sobibor, it is 
more plausible that information was withheld from the officer because the camp was a death 
camp than because it was a transit camp, as the former would have been more damaging to 
German interests if leaked to the enemy. 

An estimated 53,000 Slovakian Jews were deported between March 26 and June 26, 
1942; by the end of 1942, this had risen to 57,752, consisting of 18,746 to Auschwitz and 
39,006 to Lublin and its surrounding areas. 214 

The beginning of systematic deportations from France was preceded by a number of 
exterminatory statements. On May 6, 1942, Heydrich visited Paris to mark the 
commencement of Oberg's duties as HSSPF and supplied Wehrmacht officials with 
information about gassing policy, noting that gassing "busses" were being replaced with 
"more sophisticated solutions providing a higher yield." This conversation was passed on by 
one of the attendees (Balz) to Bargatzky, who recorded it in his diary. 215 Balz reported 
Heydrich's revelation that: 

Just as with the Russian Jews in Kiev, the death sentence has been pronounced on 
all the Jews of Europe. Even on the Jews of France, whose deportations begin in 
these very weeks. 

Heydrich's use of "death sentence" echoed Goebbels' usage of the same phrase on 

December 14, 1941, but Heydrich referred to "all the Jews of Europe" rather than just "in 

many cases." On May 15, 1942, Goebbels noted in his diary that "it would be best if we 

either evacuated (abschoben) or liquidated (liquidierten) all eastern Jews still remaining in 

Paris." 216 Given that Goebbels had already stated in December 1941 that deportation from 

France would be "In many cases... equivalent to a death sentence", Goebbels must here have 

212 M&G, Treblinka, p.260; MGK, Sobibor, p.305. 

213 Thomas Kues, 'On the terms Sonderlager and SS-Sonderkommando', n.48. 

214 Schelvis, Sobibor, p. 211; Cf. Yehoushua Biichler, 'The Deportation of Slovakian Jews to the Lublin District 
of Poland in 1942', HGS 6/2, 1991, p.166. 

215 Walter Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic. Ein Deutscher im besetzten Frankreich, Freiburg, 1987, p.l03ff.; cf. 
Herbert, 'Deportation of the French Jews', p. 152. 


TBJG, II/4, p.293 (15.5.42). 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

been using abschoben to refer to killing by deportation and liquidierten to refer to killing on 
French soil. 

On May 13, 1942, Dannecker noted that, in a conversation with Lieutenant General 
Kohl, who was responsible in Paris for rail transportation, Kohl appeared to Dannecker to be 
an "enemy" of the Jews, who agreed "100%" with "a final solution to the Jewish question 
with the goal of a total destruction of the enemy" (erne Endlosung der Judenfrage mit dem 
Ziel restloser Vernichtung des Gegners). 217 

Deportation policy unfolded in stages. On June 11, 1942, Dannecker announced that 
100,000 Jews would be deported from the unoccupied zone, at a rate of three transports per 
week. 218 On June 22, 1942, Eichmann specified to Rademacher that 40,000 Jews from the 
unoccupied zone, 40,000 from the Netherlands and 10,000 from Belgium would be deported 
to Auschwitz 219 , but the following day Himmler instructed the RSHA that "the previously 
planned rate (3 transports each of 1,000 Jews every week)" must be "significantly raised 
within a short time . . . with the goal of freeing France entirely of Jews as soon as possible." 220 
A few days later, Zeitschel stated that Dannecker required 50,000 Jews from the unoccupied 
zone to be deported "to the East as soon as possible." 221 As a result of this urgency, transports 
to Auschwitz increased from four in the month of June to eight in July, thirteen in August and 
thirteen in September. 222 By July 21, 1943, the number of Jews evacuated from France had 
increased to 52,000. 223 

The exterminatory nature of deportation is also shown by the policy of deporting 
unaccompanied children to death camps, and of preventing children being given refuge in 
Palestine. On July 20, 1942, Eichmann advised Dannecker that as soon as trains could again 
be dispatched to the Generalgouvernement area, transports of children would be able to 
roll. 224 On August 13, 1942, Giinther advised the SD in Paris that the Jewish children in the 
camps of Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande could be divided up gradually among the 

217 XXVb-29, published in Serge Klarsfeld, Die Endlosung der Judenfrage in Frankreich. Deutsche Dokumente 
1941-1944. Paris, 1977; also Raul Hilberg, Sonderziige nach Auschwitz: The Role of the German Railroads in 
the Destruction of the Jews, Mainz, 1981. 

218 Memorandum by Dannecker on a discussion in Eichmann's office, 11.6.42, RF-1217, also T/419. 

219 Eichmann to Rademacher concerning the deportation to Auschwitz of Jews from Western Europe, Paris, 
22.6.42, NG-183, also T/422. 

220 Minutes by Eichmann and Dannecker on their discussion concerning the deportation of Jews from France, 
Paris, 1.7.42, RF-1223, also T/429. 

221 German Embassy to the Head of the Security Police in France, 27.6.42, RF-1220. 

222 Serge Klarsfeld, Die Endlosung der Judenfrage in Frankreich. Deutsche Dokumente 1941-1944. Paris, 1977. 

223 Roethke's review of "the present state of the Jewish Question in France". Paris, 21.7.43, T/488. 


Minute by Dannecker on a telephone call from Eichmann and Novak. Paris, 21.7.42, T/439. 


Nazi Policy 

transports to Auschwitz. 225 Instructions for the transport of children from France to 
Auschwitz were signalled to Hoss and the RSHA, but not to any other institution farther 
east. 226 Similarly, two teleprint messages from Roethke to Eichmann and to the Senior 
Commanders of the Security Police and the SD in Cracow and Lublin, sent on March 4-6, 
1943, reporting the departure of deportation trains from Le Bourget-Drancy to Chelm 
(Cholm), did not have recipients farther east. 227 In April 1944, the round-ups were extended 
to children's homes. 228 Attempts to prevent the emigration of Jewish children to Palestine led 
to correspondence, involving Eichmann's office, concerning children in, for example, 
Sweden 229 , Bulgaria 230 , and Rumania. 231 

Rumania is particularly important in explaining the role of German officials in the 
Final Solution at this time. Mattogno has often attempted to use Luther's memo of August 21, 
1942, as evidence of a resettlement program. However, two days earlier than that memo, 
Luther received a telex from Rintelen quoting a report by the Chief of the Security Police and 
the SD, dated July 26, 1942, addressed to Himmler, on the situation with regard to 
deportation of Jews from Rumania. 232 This stated that non-working Jews would be "subjected 
to special treatment." 

On October 5, 1942, Luther met the Hungarian Ambassador, Sztojay, who expressed 
concerns that deported Hungarian Jews would not have a "continued existence." Luther 
replied that all evacuated Jews would "first be used in the East for road construction and 

225 Teleprint message from Giinther to the Security Police branch in Paris stating that the Jewish children in the 
camps of Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande can be divided up gradually among the transports to Auschwitz. 
Berlin, 13.8.42, T/443. 

226 Roethke to Eichmann reporting the departure of a train from Le Bourget-Drancy to Auschwitz with 1,000 
Jews, Paris, 14.8.42, T/444; set of chronologically arranged teleprint messages from SD Section IV J in Paris 
reporting the departure of deportation trains to Auschwitz (each report was forwarded to Eichmann in the Head 
Office for Reich Security, to the Inspector of Concentration Camps in Oranienburg, and to the Auschwitz 
concentration camp), Paris, 17.7.42-2.3.43, T/447 (pp. 1-9, 12-13, 14, 16); and teleprint message from Roethke 
to Eichmann, to the Inspector of Concentration Camps in Oranienburg, and to the Auschwitz concentration 
camp, reporting the departure of a deportation train carrying 1,000 Jews; Paris, 23.9.42, T/455; see also the same 
distribution chain in T/457 and T/461. 

227 T/447 (17-18), T/1420 and T/1421. 

228 Telegram from Barbie of the Security Police, Lyon, to Group IVb, Paris, reporting on the arrest and 
deportation of the children and the staff of the Jewish children's home, "Colonie Enfant," in Izieu-Ain; Lyon, 
6.4.44, NO-1411, also T/505 and CDJC VII-10; cf. Serge Klarsfeld, Die Endlosung der Judenfrage in 
Frankreich. Deutsche Dokumente 1941-1944. Paris, 1977, p. 135. 


Letter from Giinther to the Foreign Ministry, transmitting a DNB (official German news agency) report on a 
charity event in Stockholm on behalf of Jewish children to be sent to Palestine, Berlin, 6.4.43, T/601; see also 

230 Letter from Bergmann, Foreign Ministry, to the German Legation in Sofia instructing it to oppose the 
emigration of 5,000 Jewish children to Palestine, 13.2.43, NG-1783, also T/948; see also T/949, T/950, T/951 
and T/952. 

231 T/1049, T/1050, T/1051 and T/1056. 

232 NG-3559, also T/1023. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

would later be settled in a Jewish reserve." 233 This was clearly a lie because, as was discussed 
in Chapter 2, Heydrich had insisted as early as the autumn of 1941 that deportees would be 
interned in "camps built by the Bolsheviks" and that deportation would involve "decimation", 
yet here Luther was denying decimation of any kind. Luther led the Hungarians to believe 
that deported Jews would have a "continued existence" yet on December 7, 1942, Luther 
again discussed plans to sterilize Mischlinge. 234 Sterilization and "continued existence", 
applied to the survival of a population, are mutually exclusive terms. 

Officials in Italian-controlled territories were aware of the intended fate of deported 
Jews. In August 1942, the Nazis requested the handing over of Croatian Jews who were 
under Italian occupation. The Minister of State at the German Embassy, Prince Otto von 
Bismarck, "stated that it was a question of several thousands of people and led me to 
understand that such measures would lead, in practice, to their dispersion and liquidation 
["annihilation" in the original but lined out]." 235 However, when Mussolini received this 
information in writing, he scribbled that he had "no objection" (Nulla osta) to the 
deportation. 236 Conversely, Mussolini's officers remained obstructive as their knowledge of 
the genocide mounted. In March 1943, Bastianini was reported to have told Mussolini: 

The real reason for the attitude of our officers was not said by Ambrosio, but I am 
going to say it to you, Duce. Our people know what fate awaits the Jews 
consigned to the Germans. They will all be gassed without distinction, the old 
women, babies. And that's why our people will never permit such atrocities to 
take place with their connivance. And you, Duce, may not give your consent. 
Why do you want to assume a responsibility which will fall on you entirely? 237 

In early 1943, the progress of the Final Solution was documented by Richard 

Korherr. 238 However, it is known that the original version of the Korherr Report did not use 

the term 'durchgeschleust' ('sifted through') but had instead referred to 'Sonderbehandlung' 

('special treatment'). Himmler's assistant, Brandt, had written to Korherr and stated that: 

The Reichsfiihrer-SS has received your report on "The Final Solution of the 
European Jewish Question". He wishes that "special treatment of the Jews" not be 

233 A Discussion between the German Foreign Office and the Hungarian Ambassador about the Final Solution 
of the Jewish Problem in Hungary. Yad Vashem Archives, TR2, NG 1800, N11/553/E. 

234 Letter from Luther to Eichmann concerning the Foreign Ministry's stand on the proposed sterilization of half- 
Jews and the Jewish partners in mixed marriages. Berlin, 7.12.42, T/192. 

235 Jonathan Steinberg, All Or Nothing. The Axis and the Holocaust 1941-43. London, 2002, p.52, citing Luca 
Pietromarchi, 'Estratti del diario privato', 20.8.42, in Joseph Rochlitz, The Righteous Enemy. The Italians and 
Jews in Occupied Europe 1941-43. Rome, 1988, p. 7. 

236 Steinberg, All or Nothing, p. 2 , facsimile of 'Appunto per il Duce', 21.8.42, Ministero degli Affari Esteri 
(MEA). Archivio Storico Diplomatico (ASD) Gab AP 35. 'Croazia'. 

~ 37 Steinberg, All or Nothing, p. 116, citing Luca Pietromarchi, 'Estratti del diario privato', 31.3.43, in Joseph 
Rochlitz, The Righteous Enemy. The Italians and Jews in Occupied Europe 1941-43. Rome, 1988, p. 8. 
238 Korherr reports, 19.4.43, NO-5193 and NO-5194. 


Nazi Policy 

mentioned anywhere. 239 

The term "special treatment" therefore clearly had a sinister meaning. The Korherr Report's 
history therefore reveals not only the scope of the Final Solution, but also its true purpose. 

It should also be apparent from the Korherr report and other documents so far 
discussed in this chapter (as well in the next one as well) that the Final Solution was being 
fully implemented during the war. In passages repeated near verbatim in both Treblinka and 
Sobibor, Mattogno half-heartedly suggested that the actions implemented against the Jews 
during the war were merely provisional and temporary measures; the real Final Solution was 
supposedly to be achieved only after the war. 240 This position relies on several outdated 
documents from 1940 and 1941 (prior to the decision to implement the Final Solution), faulty 
or tertiary documents in the decision making process (Goebbels' 7.3.1942 diary entry and the 
so called April 1942 'Schlegelberger' memo 241 ), and a fundamental misreading of the 
Wannsee Conference protocol. Mattogno takes the stated "temporary measures" 
(Ausweighmoglichkeiten) to refer to the planned deportations, when actually the protocol was 
referring to the ongoing deportations of Reich Jews to locations such as Lodz, Minsk, and 
Riga. 242 From these smaller scale evacuations, "practical experience" was being gained 
which would help in the application of a total Final Solution. There simply is nothing 
provisional or temporary about the fate described for the able-bodied Jews at Wannsee, who 
were to be worked to death with any lasting remnant to be "treated accordingly" to prevent 
the seed for a new Jewish revival. 

Killing of Soviet Jews, August-December 1942 

Policy developments in the second half of 1942 took place against the backdrop of a massive 
killing action in GK Wolhynien-Podolien, which contained most of the Polesie province and 
the entire Wolyn (Volhynia) province that had formerly belonged to Poland. 243 The killings 
are particularly significant because they prove that Nazi policy was now to kill working Jews 
as well as non-working ones. The number of Jews in this region was recorded as 330,000 in 

239 Brandt an Korherr, 20.4.43, BA NS19/1570, also NO-5196. 

240 MG, Treblinka, p. 189; MGK, Sobibor, pp. 207-208. It also becomes apparent from the documents Mattogno 
subsequently quotes in both books that the final solution was being put into effect during the war. 

241 On the note by Franz Schlegelberger see Richard Evans, Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the 
David Irving Trial (New York: Basic Books, 2001), pp. 82-86. 


Cf. Browning, Origins of the Final Solution, p. 411; Longerich, Holocaust, p. 307 

Shmuel Spector, The Holocaust of Volhynian Jews 1941-1944. Jerusalem, 1990, esp. pp. 141-8; Gerlach, 

Kalkulierte Morde, pp.709-23. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

March 1942 244 and 326,000 in May 1942. 245 Most of those Jews were dead by the end of 
November. Their deaths were included in Himmler's Meldung 51, whose total of 363,211 
deaths also included approximately 70,000 Jews from Bezirk Bialystok. 246 

The largest killing actions occurred after a meeting in Lutsk on August 28-30, 1942. 
This was headed by Koch's representative Paul Dargel and attended by Piitz, and ordered a 
"100% solution" to the Jewish Question in the region, to be implemented within five weeks, 
with just a two-month stay of execution for 'specialists' after each Aktion. 247 The first major 
Aktion in the Polesie following this conference took place in Domachevo, a spa town 25 
miles south of Brest which had 3,316 Jewish inhabitants in February 1942. The fate of most 
of these Jews was documented in a Gendarmerie report dated October 6, 1942: 

On September 19-20, 1942, an anti- Jewish Aktion was carried out in Domachevo 
and Tomashovka by a special commando of the SD together with the cavalry 
squadron of the Gendarmerie and the local police stationed in Domachevo, and in 
total, some 2,900 Jews were shot. The action took place without any disturbance. 

The Aktion included the slaughter of Jewish children from an orphanage, whose clothes were 

then handed to ethnic German children attending a kindergarten in Domachevo. 248 The 

Stadtkommissar for Brest, Franz Burat, wrote a response to the massacre which indicated that 

he and his SS counterpart, Rohde, were still making futile attempts to retain Jews for 

essential work in Brest. Burat stated that the "sudden liquidation" of the Jews of Domachevo 

and Tomashovka had caused "profound distress" among the Jews of Brest who strove 

desperately "to prove their indispensability" through "a model organization of Jewish 

workshops." Burat continued, "I must unconditionally plead for the retention of the most 

244 Stadtkommissar Brest, Niederschrift ueber die zweite Tatung in Luzk 27-29.3.42, 13.4.1942, BA R 6/243, p. 

245 Meldungen aus den besetzten Ostgebieten Nr. 5, 29.5.1942, NA T175/235/2724430; cf. Dean, Collaboration 
in the Holocaust, p. 195. 

246 Der Reichsfiihrer-SS, Meldungen an den Fiihrer iiber Bandenbekampfung, Meldung Nr. 51 Russland-Siid, 
Ukraine, Bialystok. Bandenbekampfungserfolge vom 1.9 bis 1.12.42, 23.12.1942, NO-511, also translated in 
NMT, Vol. XIII, p. 269-272, also T/338. The 292,263 Jews killed before 1.11.42 were almost exclusively from 
RKU whilst those from Bezirk Bialystok were killed in November; cf. Kruglov, 'Jewish Losses', p. 289 n.12. 

247 Stadtkommissar Brest, Aktenvermerk iiber die Sitzung am 28-31.8.42, 4.9.1942, BA R6/243, p.21; the Lutsk 
meeting was preceded by a conference of Erich Koch and the RK Ukraine staff emphasising the food situation, 
an important 'accelerator' for the extermination campaign in Volhynia (Vernerk iiber die Tagung in Rowno vom 
26-28.8.1942, 264-PS, IMT XXV, pp.325-27); cf. Christian Gerlach, 'Die Bedeutung der deutschen 
Ernahrungspolitik fur die Beschleunigung des Mordes an den Juden 1942. Das Generalgouvernement und die 
Westukraine' in Krieg, Ernahrung, Volkermord. Forschungen zur deutschen Vernichtungspolitik im Zweiten 
Weltkrieg, Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1998, pp. 237-245. 

248 Gendarmerie-GebietsFuhrer Brest-Litovsk, Lagebericht fur Monat Oktober 1942, 6.10.42 NARA 
T454/102/980; Gebietskommissar Brest-Litovsk Lagebericht, 9.10.42, NARA T454/103/204-5; cf. Martin 
Dean, 'Soviet Ethnic Germans and the Holocaust in Reich Commissariat Ukraine', in Ray Brandon and Wendy 
Lower (eds.) The Shoah in Ukraine, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008, p. 259. 


Nazi Policy 

needed artisans and manpower." 249 These pleadings were in vain. The population reductions 
that took place in Brest are documented in the local archives. In November 1941, the Jewish 
population of Brest was 17,574. 250 In February 1942, the population was 18,000, a figure that 
may have been rounded-up. 251 Andrea Simon examined the local food distribution report for 
June 5, 1942, showing 16,973 Jews, 252 reduced from 17,724 for the period March 24 to April 
23, 1942, whilst Garrard & Garrard reproduced the ledger for October 15-16, 1942, which 
they described as follows: 

This document is one of the most horrifying discovered at Brest, for it represents 
the complicity in mass murder of men who sat behind their desks throughout the 
entire process. Across the top of each page are the names of ethnic groups in 
Brest. The clerk has been ordered to keep a running total for each group: he 
records how many had 'arrived' and how many had 'departed' for each day. The 
total population is given in the right-hand column. As of 15 October 1942 the 
total population is 41,091. Of this total, 16,934 are designated in the column for 
Jews (Zydowsk). But then the clerk learns that this total is wrong. He has made a 
mistake in writing 16,934. In fact, all the Jews in the ghetto have now 'departed'. 
The clerk corrects his mistake; he strikes through 16,934 and writes in '0'. He then 
subtracts this figure of 16,934 from 41,091 and writes in the correct number of 
people alive in Brest now - 24,157. It is unlikely that the clerk did not know what 
had happened to these thousands of people, even if he was not sure exactly when 
and where they had been executed. Thus, with a single stroke of a pen, 16,934 
people are erased. 

Furthermore, Garrard & Garrard found that the reduction of 16.934 in the ghetto liquidation 

corresponded to the volume of transports from Brest to the killing site: 

According to documents in the Brest archives, from late June to November 1942 
a total of seven trains transported Jews to be executed at Bronnaya Gora. Three of 
these trains are said to have carried people from Brest - two trains consisting of 
40 and 13 cars in July, and a third consisting of 28 cars in October. How many 
Jews from the Brest ghetto were transported in the three trains? If we say that 
close to 200 people were crushed into each car, then we arrive at a total of 8,000 
people in the first train, 2,600 in the second, and 5,600 in the third. There is no 
way of knowing how many people had already died of starvation and sickness 
before July 1942, or were shot in and near Brest before October 1942 But the 
total number transported by this estimate (16,200) does approximate the figure 
given in the Brest Town Administration's Accounting and Control Book of 

249 Gebietskommissar Brest-Litovsk Lagebericht, 9.10.42, NARA T454/103/205; cf. Browning, Nazi Policy, 

250 Stadtkommissar Brest, Betr.: Lage-Bericht, 21.11.41 NARA T454/103/7. 

251 Ernahrungsamt Brest-Litowsk, Statistischer Bericht, 28.2.42 NARA T454/103/65-66. 

252 Andrea Simon, Bashert. A Granddaughter's Holocaust Quest. Jackson, Mississippi, 2002, p. 170, citing the 
statistics report of the Brest Town Administration on the distribution of provisions, 5.6.42 Each Jew received 
1,050 grams of bread per week, produced by four bakeries and distributed from nine posts inside the ghetto. 
Brest archives. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Population Movement'... 253 
Moreover, these figures were corroborated by Polish railway worker, Roman Stanislavovich 
Novis, the former station master at Bronnaia Gora, who claimed to have counted 186 railroad 
cars arriving at Bronnaia Gora from various locations, and that his German successor as 
station master, Heil, had told him that 48,000 people were shot there. 254 Finally, these 
demographics are supported by the Brest Ghetto Passport Archive, which consists of a list of 
Jews of 14 years of age and above living in the Brest Ghetto, who were required to obtain and 
sign for identity papers, which included their names, ages, and the names and dates of birth of 
their parents. 255 A photo of each person was taken and all those receiving these internal 
passports were required to sign for them. The list contains 12,258 names. When the omitted 
children are added to this total, we have a baseline figure for the number of Brest Jews 
murdered in the second half of 1942. 

In Treblinka, Mattogno fusses over the fact that old people and children appear in the 
Brest ghetto list. 256 However, this is a red herring because the evidence cited by Andrea 
Simon and Garrard & Garrard revealed that children had been killed in the liquidation. Many 
were killed in the city instead of being sent to Bronnaya Gora. 257 We can infer from this that 
the families of essential workers received exemptions and that the civilian authorities in Brest 
had attempted to run a productive ghetto prior to the order to liquidate it. This is confirmed 
by the protest of the Stadtkommissar for Brest, Franz Burat, noted above, when the Jews of 
neighbouring Domachevo and Tomashovka had been shot. It is therefore a strawman to state 
that, because some ghettos had exemptions for family members of workers, there was not a 
general policy of killing unfit Jews. 

In early November, the remaining 26,200 Jews of Pinsk were exterminated as a result 
of this Himmler order: 

OKW has informed me that region of Brest-Gomel suffers increasingly from gang 
attacks, which bring into question the need for additional troops. On the basis of the 
news, which has been reported to me, one must regard in the Ghetto of Pinsk the centre 
for the movement of the gangs in the region of the Pripyat marshes. 


John Garrard and Carol Garrard, 'Barbarossa's first victims: The Jews of Brest', East European Jewish 
Affairs, 1998, 28/2, p. 33, citing Brest Town Administration, 'Accounting and Control Book of Population 
Movement', entry for 16.10.42, in Brest oblast archives. 

254 Simon, Bashert, pp. 189-91, citing testimony of Roman Stanislavovich Novis, 12.9.44, Soviet Extraordinary 
Commission, Region of Bronnaia Gora, the Brest Region. 

255 Simon, Bashert, p. 169, citing 'Brest Ghetto List, Administrative Department of the City of Brest, Book of 
Records of Distributed Passports, Started November 10, 1941, ended June 5, 1942'; online at . 

256 M&G, Treblinka, p.214. 

257 Garrard and Garrard, 'Barbarossa's First Victims', pp. 35-37. 


Nazi Policy 

Therefore I order, in spite of economic considerations, the destruction and obliteration of 
the Ghetto of Pinsk. 1000 male workers may be spared, in the event that the operation 
allows for this, to be made available to the Wehrmacht, for the production of wooden 
prefabricated huts. These 1000 men must be kept in a well-guarded camp, and if security 
not be maintained, these 1000 are to be destroyed. 

The results were documented in the Erfahrungsbericht of Hauptmann der 

Schutzpolizei Helmut Saur of Polizeibataillon 310. 259 The dating of the Pinsk massacre 

confirms the fact that Himmler and Koch had planned the beginning of the Bialystok 

deportation (November 2, 1942) to coincide with the end of the extermination phase in GK 

Wolhynien-Podolien. Koch was the head of RK East Prussia (which incorporated Bialystok) 

as well as RK Ukraine. 


The flaws in MGK's writing on Nazi policy, which we have documented above, can be 
divided into four categories: self-contradiction, irrelevancy, highly selective sourcing, and 

It is self-contradictory that Mattogno fixes a resettlement decision in September 1941 
but then Kues has to admit that requests from a very high level (Ribbentrop) to resettle Serb 
Jews were being declined by Himmler in October. It is self-refuting for Mattogno to admit 
that Wetzel was referring to gassing on 25.10.41 but for Kues to claim that Rademacher was 
referring to mere resettlement of Serb Jews in a document written on the very same day. 

Irrelevancy and selective sourcing dog Mattogno's chapters on 'emigration'. It 
amounts to a strategy of distracting the reader: 'misdirection'. Mattogno's assumption that 
Zeitschel's request in August 1941 is more important than the well-documented deportation 
negotiations of October 1941 (which were won by Wetzel's assurances about "Brack's 
device") is clearly spurious. Kues' claim that Rademacher' s deportation note of October 25, 
1941 refutes Turner's gas van document of April 11, 1942, is an amazing chronological 
misdirection that ignores piles of intervening documentation, commencing with the Wetzel 
draft of the same October date, which clearly leads into the gassing timeline that takes the 
policy to Chelmno, the Ostland, Serbia and the Aktion Reinhard camps through gradual 
radicalization. Selective sourcing is most egregious, as noted above, in the Ostland paper trail 

258 Helmut Heiber (ed), Reichsfiihrer!...' Briefe an und von Himmler. Stuttgart, 1968, p. 165. 

259 Hptm Saur, Pol.Btl. 310, Erfahrungsbericht, n.d., USSR-119a; on Battalion 310's operations at this time see 
Edward B. Westermann, ' "Ordinary Men" or "Ideological Soldiers"? Police Battalion 310 in Russia, 1942', 
German Studies Review, 21/1, Feb., 1998, pp.41-68. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

of Kube and Lohse. The distortion of this documentation is so blatant that it amounts to a 
strategy of deliberately hiding smoking guns. 

As readers can see, therefore, there are more than enough examples of distortion in 
MGK's work to prove their lack of scruples. This chapter does not address absolutely every 
last example that could be found in the trilogy, as it would lengthen the chapter several fold. 
We have, however, covered the most serious cases. 

The intended result of Mattogno's distortions is to bury the real timeline of 
extermination, which we have rehearsed above. There was a process of cumulative 
radicalization that began with starvation planning in the spring and culminated in Himmler's 
order of July 1942 to kill working Jews as well as non-working Jews. This process had two 
peaks - the July 1941 Hitler's decision to kill all Soviet Jews (with some labor exemptions) 
and the December 1941 decision to kill Jews across Europe within the timeframe of the war - 
but these peaks were not a culmination because they still left open the matter of how quickly 
each category of Jews (non-working and working) would be killed. This was not resolved in 
full until July 1942, when Himmler set a deadline of December 31, 1942, but even then 
Himmler eventually had to concede some labor exemptions, which were concentrated into SS 
run camps. The fate of Jews in these camps is discussed in later chapters. 

Finally, it is anticipated that MGK may mislead readers by pointing out that some 
children and old people survived to the end of the war, which they infer as meaning there was 
no extermination policy. This would be fallacious because it would omit the obstacles faced 
by the SS in the execution of policy. Some ghettos gave permits to the immediate families of 
essential workers (as we show below); some had officials who were bribed into giving out 
work permits to the highest bidder 260 , and some had children who were hidden. The SS 
eventually tracked most of these down, as we saw in the case of Domachevo above, but, 
given that Germany was fighting a losing war militarily, the SS could not ultimately track 
down every hidden child and overcome every local Wehrmacht official who wanted to keep 
productive Jews. Those that survived, however, were a tiny minority of the total Jewish 
population that came under Nazi rule. MGK's deceptions cannot negate this fact. 

260 Browning, Remembering Survival, pp. 76- 78. 


Chapter 3 

Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in 


As the preceding chapter has demonstrated, Mattogno, Graf and Kues have an exceedingly 
poor grasp of the evolution of Nazi Jewish policy and of the Final Solution as a whole. The 
following chapter will show that such a verdict does not change in the slightest when we 
consider the arguments proffered by the trio regarding the evolution of Aktion Reinhard and 
the Holocaust in the regions of Poland most affected by Aktion Reinhard. Strictly speaking, 
the trio do not actually offer a coherent account of either of these things in the 'trilogy' of 
booklets about Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. They might well say that their studies were of 
the camps themselves, and that they were not obligated to examine the history of Jewish 
policy in the Generalgouvernement. But in the guise of trying to prove 'resettlement', these 
books reimport just such an account through the back door - an account, moreover, which is 
so horribly distorted, inaccurate and ignorant as to be all but unrecognisable to anyone who is 
moderately familiar with the conventional historical literature on the subject. 

Just as with Nazi Jewish policy as a whole, the chapters under consideration here are 
almost entirely the work of Carlo Mattogno. 1 Indeed, some of the arguments Mattogno 
advances end up repeated in his own oeuvre 2 , or in brochures by Graf 3 or parroted in the 
summaries of other negationist gurus such as Germar Rudolf. 4 Not only are the arguments 
repeated in other works, but the basic gist of the argument is largely unchanged from 
Treblinka (whose original version appeared in 2002 in German) to Sobibor (appearing in 
2010). Closer examination reveals that the exact same references recur across both volumes, 
and are sometimes even repeated a third time in Belzec, where the corresponding chapter is 
truncated and refers the reader to the more extensive exposition in the earlier Treblinka. 

1 The relevant chapters are: M&G, Treblinka, part of Chapter II, part of III, VIII and IX; Mattogno, Belzec, 
Chapters I and V; MGK, Sobibor, part of Chapter 3 and most of Chapters 8 and 9 

2 Cf. Mattogno, Hilberg 

3 Graf, Neue Weltordnung. 

4 Cf. Rudolf, Lectures on the Holocaust 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Taken together, the corresponding chapters purporting to deal with the origins of 
Aktion Reinhard and the deportations to Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka amount to about 
81,000 words. In practice, a staggering amount of space is given over to digressions about 
Auschwitz or developments in Jewish policy in western Europe that are of indirect relevance 
at best to the question of what was Aktion Reinhard and what were Belzec, Sobibor and 
Treblinka. 5 Closer inspection reveals that some of these digressions are set-piece spiels which 
Mattogno uses in his Auschwitz brochures. Indeed, some documents turn out to be cited by 
Mattogno no fewer than nine times across his entire oeuvre. 

These digressions and repetitions only serve to underscore one of the biggest 
problems with Mattogno 's attempts to account for the evolution of Aktion Reinhard, namely 
the utter absence of any reference to a range of what might be considered obvious sources 
anywhere inside the 'trilogy'. A good example would be the well known Goebbels diary 
entry of March 27, 1942, already mentioned in the preceding chapter and which will be 
discussed further below. Not only is this source a standard reference in many studies of the 
origins of the Final Solution in general 6 , it is invariably mentioned in all the relevant regional 
studies of occupied Poland as well as in the standard histories of Belzec, Sobibor and 
Treblinka. 7 One would therefore expect that the document would be acknowledged and 
discussed in a serious work on those camps. Yet nowhere in the trilogy do Mattogno or either 
of his co-authors bother to mention this obviously critical source. When called on his 
omission of the diary entry from Belzec by Roberto Muehlenkamp, Mattogno feebly tried to 
claim that the document was not relevant because it did not mention Belzec by name. 8 But 
this does not stop him from citing dozens of documents in Treblinka and Sobibor that not 
only do not mention Belzec, Sobibor or Treblinka, but which are not even relevant to any of 
the regions affected by these camps. One has to search far and wide through Mattogno's 
oeuvre to find any discussion of the Goebbels diary entry. 9 The fact that he could not bring 
himself to include such a discussion in any of the three volumes of the 'trilogy' suggests that 
far from being able to explain away this deeply inconvenient reference, the leading 
negationist is actually embarrassed by it, and knows that if he were to include too many such 

5 We have dealt with some of these digressions in the preceding chapter, and will examine more in Ch. 4. 

6 To cite two older examples, see Martin Broszat, 'Hitler und die Genesis der 'Endlosung'. Aus Anlass der 
Thesen von David Irving', VfZ 25, 1977, pp. 739-775, here p. 762, as well as Browning, 'Antwort', p. 99. 

7 In addition to the numerous obvious examples from Western historiography, see also Zygmunt Mankowski, 
Miedzy Wislaa Bugiem 1939-1944, Lublin: Wydawnictwo Lubelskie, 1978, pp.222-3. 

8 Mattogno, Belzec e Muehlenkamp, p. 60. 

9 To our knowledge, the three instances are in his reply to Roberto Muehlenkamp (as previous note), in 
Mattogno, Hilberg, pp. 38- 39 and Carlo Mattogno, 'Denying Evidence' in Auschwitz Lies. Legends, Lies, and 
Prejudices on the Holocaust, Chicago: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2005, pp. 259-260. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

documents invoking unpleasant terms such as 'destruction', 'extirpation', 'liquidation' or 
'killing', then he would undermine his own argument and destroy the plausibility of the 
'resettlement thesis'. Unfortunately for Mattogno, as this chapter will demonstrate, the 
Goebbels diary entry is far from the only example of an omission of a crucial document. 
Moreover, when such a reference is omitted from not one or two but all three works, there are 
good grounds to apply a simple principle: 'three strikes, and you're out'. Such a flagrant 
omission is not the behaviour of a Doubting Thomas but of the proverbial three monkeys: 
hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil; deny, deny, deny. 

Argument by omission - for that is what we are dealing with here - is however not 
the only failing which Mattogno brings to the table in the Aktion Reinhard chapters. Perusing 
them, it swiftly becomes apparent to any reader familiar with the conventional historiography 
of the Holocaust in Poland 10 that Mattogno is deeply, profoundly ignorant of this literature, 
and is evidently blithely unaware of how rapidly the literature has grown in the past two 
decades in particular. Nor does he show much of a grasp of the available sources. Virtually 
all the Poland-specific citations are taken from a few published documentary collections. 
(And even then, many documents published in these collections are, unsurprisingly, omitted 
or overlooked.) Other sources are lifted from the Nuremberg trials, Eichmann trial documents 
or publications of the CDJC in Paris 11 , leaving a vanishingly small number of citations to 
actual archival sources in the relevant chapters. 12 Under no circumstances can Mattogno be 
considered to have done the work, or to have bothered to listen to those who, unlike him, 
actually have done the work on this topic. 

His use of the limited amount of scholarly literature and primary sources he does 
know about verges on the parodic. In Treblinka, for example, Chapter 8.7 turns out to be 
2,211 words written about the Holocaust in Galicia, a mini-essay buttressed by 27 footnotes 
and grossly padded with 927 words of italicised block quotes. Mattogno's most recent 
secondary source turns out to be Thomas Sandkiihler's dissertation on the Holocaust in 
Galicia, published in 1996. 13 It is difficult to see how on earth Mattogno can believe that this 
section is even remotely capable of addressing the total volume of evidence on the Holocaust 
in Galicia or the relevant literature. Indeed, it is easy to identify nearly as many works 

10 For an overview up to the early 2000s, see Dieter Pohl, 'Poland', in Dan Stone (ed), The Historiography of 
the Holocaust, London, 2004, pp.88-119 

11 Together 22 out of 140 references in Chapter 8 of M&G, Treblinka. Most do not actually relate to the 
Holocaust in the Generalgouvernement at all. Mattogno began his career by citing the CDJC documents from 
the relevant publications, but has taken to omitting his actual source. 

12 Just 12 archival sources can be identified out of 140 references in Chapter 8 of M&G, Treblinka. 

13 Thomas Sandkiihler, 'Endlosung' in Galizien. Der Judenmord in Ostpolen und die Rettungsinitiativen von 
Berthold Beitz, Bonn, 1996. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

specifically on Galicia as there are footnotes in his shoddy little essay, including a second 
German dissertation from 1996 by Dieter Pohl 14 , and numerous works published in recent 
years. 15 Why does Mattogno think that 2,211 words is a sufficient counter to two whole PhDs 
plus a substantial quantity of other literature, which collectively discusses a vast wealth of 
source material relating to the Holocaust in Galicia? There were more trials in West 
Germany for the Galicia district than he manages footnotes. 16 Why would anyone bother to 
believe Mattogno's feeble take when there are extensive, detailed, coherent narratives and 
explanations of what happened in Galicia to the Jews there from 1941 to 1944? And why 
would anyone bother with Mattogno when he evidently does not understand the course of the 
Holocaust in Galicia, much less any of the other districts affected by 'Aktion Reinhard'? 

For as well as resorting to argument by omission and argument from ignorance, 
Mattogno frequently relies on what might be called argument from incomprehension. As we 
have already seen in Chapter 2, Mattogno's grasp of the evolution of Nazi policy before and 
during the Final Solution consists of little more than a series of strawmen and 
misrepresentations. By far the most frequent misunderstanding is his refusal to grasp 
something that has been extensively discussed and debated in the conventional scholarly 
literature - the interaction of labour and extermination. 17 Instead of demonstrating the 

14 See in addition to works cited in Chapter 1 and in this Chapter, Tatiana Berenstein, 'Prace przymosiwa 
ludnosci Zydowskiej w tzw. Dystrikcie Galicja (1941-1944)', BZIH 1969, pp. 3-45; Elisabeth Freundlich, Die 
Ermordung einer Stadt namens Stanislau. Vienna, 1986; David Kahane, Lvov Ghetto Diary, Amherst, 1990; 
Jakub Chonigsmann, Katastrofa Iwowskogo evreitsva, Lviv, 1993; Dieter Pohl, Nationalsozialistische 
Judenverfolgung in Ostgalizien 1941-1944. Munich, 1996; Eliyahu Jones, Zydzi Lwowa w czasie okupacji 1939- 
1945, Lodz: Wyd. Oficyna Bibliofilow, 1999, translated as Smoke in the Sand. The Jews of Lvov in the War 
Years 1939-1944, Jerusalem: Gefen House, 2005; Bogdan Musial, 'Konterrevolutiondre Elemente sind zu 
erschiessen'. Die Brutalisierung des deutsch-sowjetischen Krieges im Sommer 1941, Munich, 2000; Rosa 
Lehmann, Symbiosis and Ambivalence: Poles and Jews in a Small Galician Town, New York and Oxford: 
Berghahn Books, 2001; Shimon Redlich, Together and Apart in Brzezany. Bloomington: Indiana University 
Press, 2002; Thomas Geldmacher, 'Wir als Wiener waren ja bei der Bevolkerung beliebt'. Oesterreichische 
Schutzpolizisten und der Judenvernichtung in Ostgalizien 1941-1944, Vienna: Mandelbaum Verlag, 2002 

15 Gabriel N. Finder and Alexander V. Prusin, 'Collaboration in Eastern Galicia: The Ukrainian police and the 
Holocaust', East European Jewish Affairs, 2004, 34:2, pp.95 -118; Delphine Bechtel, 'De Jedwabne a" 
Zolotchiv: Pogromes locaux en Galicie, juin-juillet 1941,' in Cultures d'Europe Centrale, vol. 5, La 
destruction de confines, ed. Delphine Bechtel and Xavier Galmiche (Paris, 2005), 69-92; Omer Bartov, 'Eastern 
Europe as the Site of Genocide', Journal of Modern History, 80 (2008), pp. 557 - 593; Omer Bartov, Erased: 
Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present Day Ukraine. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007; 
Wlodzimierz Wazniewski, Stracone nadzieje. Polityka wladz okupacyjnych w Malopolsce Wschodniej 1939- 
1944, Warsaw, 2009; Christoph Mick, Kriegserfahrungen in einer multiethnischen Stadt: Lemberg 1914-1947. 
Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2011. 

16 28 such trials can be identified across the Justiz und NS-Verbrechen series. 

17 The literature on this issue is vast, so we will confine ourselves at this stage to pointing to what is still one of 
the best short summaries of the debate, namely the article by Ulrich Herbert, 'Labour and Extermination: 
Economic Interest and the Primacy of Weltanschauung in National Socialism', Past & Present, No. 138 (Feb., 
1993), pp. 144-195, originally appearing in German in Wolfgang Schneider (ed), Vernichtungspolitik. Eine 
Debatte iiber den Zusammenhang vom Sozialpolitik und Genozid im nationalsozialistischen Deutschland. 
Hamburg, 1991. Other titles will be cited below. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

slightest awareness of this debate, Mattogno time and again resorts to a strawman of 100% 
extermination, expresses puzzlement as to why ever smaller minorities of Jews were being 
spared for slave labour, and declares pompously that selections for forced labour at this or 
that camp are supposedly incompatible with the 'official thesis' of extermination. 18 
Unfortunately for this truly imbecilic strategy of argumentation, the world has been quite 
aware since 1942 that Nazi policy was, broadly, to exterminate the unfit first and spare those 
fit for labour for at least a temporary reprieve. 19 The survival of an ever decreasing number of 
Jewish forced labourers cannot in any way be regarded as a meaningful or logical argument 
against the mass murder of 90% of the Jews of Poland. Yet Mattogno constantly argues as if 
it does, thereby exposing only his own lack of comprehension of the development of Nazi 
policy and the factors which went to shape it. 

Contrary to the lurking strawman of Nazi Germany as a centralised, totalitarian state, 
it is a truism of conventional scholarship that Nazi occupation policy in Poland was rent 
sideways by political conflicts between different factions and institutions, and caught in a 
series of dilemmas generated by the contradictions between Nazi ideology and economic 
rationality. 20 Politics and economics, two subjects to which real historians pay great attention 
and which pseudoscholars rarely grasp, thus decisively shaped the course of the Holocaust in 
Poland. Moreover, changing political and economic circumstances over the course of 1941 to 
1944 caused policy to now accelerate, now seemingly decelerate, and to vary considerably 
from region to region and phase to phase. These variations do not therefore generate 
discrepancies or anomalies as Mattogno might like them to, but are very easily explained as 
the results of conflicts between SS and civil administration, between ideology and economic 
pragmatism, between centre and periphery, between Utopian ambition and logistical 
limitations, and between long, medium and short term goals. In this respect, Nazi Jewish 
policy in Poland was no different to any other policy enacted by the National Socialist 
regime, and just as other Nazi policies shifted rapidly to accommodate changed 
circumstances, so, too did Nazi Jewish policy change. By trying to eternalise Nazi Jewish 

18 For example, MGK, Sobibor, p. 310 

19 Any misapprehensions on this score can be corrected by re-reading the United Nations Declaration regarding 
the extermination of the Jews, issued on December 17, 1942 

20 For Polish overviews of Nazi occupation policy in Poland, see For overviews, see Czeslaw Luczak, Polytika 
ludnosciowa i ekonomiczna hitlerowskich Niemiec w okupowanej Polsce, Poznan, 1979 and Czeslaw 
Madajczyk, Die Okkupationspolitik Nazi-Deutschlands in Polen 1939-1945. Cologne, 1988. A succinct 
summary of Nazi economic policy in the Generalgouvernement can be found in Sonja Schwanenberg, 'Die 
wirtschaftliche Ausbeutung des Generalgouvernements durch das Deutsche Reich 1939-1945' in: Jacek Andrzej 
Mlynarczyk (ed), Polen unter deutscher und sowjetischer Besatzung 1939-1945, Osnabriick: fibre, 2009, 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

policy and ignoring change over time, Mattogno reveals himself as fundamentally tone-deaf 
to historical context. It is thus small surprise that his chapters and sections purporting to 
address this context display a degree of chronological discombobulation that is practically 
pathological, and in some cases almost certainly entirely deliberate. 

This chronological discombobulation is mirrored on the thematic level by the 
staggering number of topics which are simply left out of Mattogno's confused account. 
Indeed, not only are these themes left out of the 'trilogy', but one is hard pressed to find any 
discussion of them anywhere in the entire negationist oeuvre. For example, Mattogno briefly 
discusses the Warsaw ghetto actions of 1942 and 1943 in Chapter 9 of 'Treblinka; but this is 
more or less the only location in his entire body of work where ghettos are discussed at all; 
and nowhere is the phenomenon of ghettoisation addressed. 21 Why and how the Nazis 
decided to put Polish Jews into ghettos is simply not mentioned. In this regard, Mattogno is 
far from alone among negationist gurus, as his co-author Graf doesn't even manage to 
mention the word 'ghetto' once in The Giant with Feet of Clay, while Butz's account of the 
ghettos in The Hoax of the Twentieth Century seems to reimagine them as a paradise of 
Jewish self-rule. 22 Yes, we know: Revisionists are concerned with extermination and death 
camps and gas chambers, but even the poorest student of history would surely be aware that 
what came before might well shape and influence what transpired later. By yanking Belzec, 
Sobibor and Treblinka out of their proper historical context, and trying to fabricate a bright, 
shiny, new pseudo-context for them with the 'resettlement thesis', Mattogno isn't going to 
fool anyone. 23 

Similarly, the fixation on the three Aktion Reinhard camps ends up ignoring the 
circumstances of the deportations in 1942-3 and the sheer amount of violence used to carry 
them out. Indeed, it ignores the fact that the Nazis had been dealing out death to Jews since 
1939. From the very first days of the German invasion of Poland, Jews suffered at the hands 

21 Philip Friedman, 'The Jewish Ghettos of the Nazi Era', Jewish Social Studies, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Jan., 1954), pp. 
61-88 ; Isaiah Trunk, Judenrat. The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe under Nazi Occupation. Lincoln, 1972; 
Gustavo Corni, Hitler's Ghettos: Voices from a Beleaguered Society, 1939-1944. London: Bloomsbury, 2002; 
Tim Cole, 'Ghettoization' in Stone (ed), Historiography of the Holocaust, pp. 65-87; Dan Michman, The 
Emergence of Jewish Ghettos During the Holocaust. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. 

22 Graf, Giant; Butz, THOTTC. One might also note that the section of Mattogno, Hilberg, purportedly 
dedicated to 'i getti' actually discusses ghettos in the Ostland, and has literally nothing to say about the ghettos 
of western Poland. The brief discussion of ghettos in Dalton, Debating the Holocaust, is so imbecilic as to not 
be worth the effort of refutation. 

23 One possible rejoinder, 'but Arad/Schelvis don't discuss ghettos!' falls at the first fence, because Arad and 
Schelvis are contributing to a historiography that does discuss ghettos, whereas 'Revisionism' does not. 
Moreover, Schelvis has little problem in giving a succinct summary of the issues involved, cf. 
Vernichtungslager Sobibor, pp. 17-24. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

of Nazi terror in Poland 24 that saw some 16,000 executions by October 25 and 50,000 by the 
end of 1939. 25 7,000 of the killed were Jews, victims of a culture of antisemitic violence and 
abuse that had gestated within Nazi Germany during the pre-war years 26 as well as a specific 
contempt for East European Jews (Ostjuden) 27 , a reaction which is amply documented in 
soldiers' letters and other sources. 28 

The mass murder of the Jews inhabiting the regions of Poland affected by Aktion 
Reinhard involved both deportations to the death camps as well as extensive mass shootings. 
Nowhere in Mattogno's work is there a detailed confrontation with the demographics of the 
Holocaust in Poland. 29 Yet ghettos and shootings killed more Jews in the 
Generalgouvernement, Bialystok and Zichenau districts than are held to have died at Belzec. 
The omission of this context unsurprisingly leads Mattogno to present conclusions which 
those more familiar with the evidence than he is will find either hilariously ignorant or utterly 
dishonest. With a total of 1,611 Jewish communities identified inside the borders of pre-war 
Poland, and over 630 localities in the Generalgouvernement, Zichenau and Bialystok districts 
documented with Jewish communities, not to mention the hundreds of ghettos identified by 

24 On the September campaign see Szymon Datner, 55 dni Wehrmachtu w Polsce. Warsaw, 1967; Alexander B. 
Rossino, Hitler Strikes Poland. Blitzkrieg, Ideology and Atrocity. Lawrence, Kansas, 2003 ; Jochen Bohler, 
Auftaktzum Vernichtungskrieg. Die Wehrmacht in Polen 1939. Frankfurt, 2006 

25 Datner, 55 dni Wermachtu, pp. 110-122; Luczak, Polityka, pp. 68-76; on the murders in the 'incorporated 
territories', many carried out by ethnic German militias, see Christian Jansen and Arno Weckbecker, Der 
"Volksdeutsche Selbstschutz" in Polen 1939/40. Munich: Oldenbourg, 1992 and most recently, Maria 
Wardzynska, Byl rok 1939 Operacja niemieckiej policji bezpieczenstwa w Polsce. Intelligenzaktion. Warsaw: 
IPN, 2009. For a case study of an SS unit which was already carrying out three-figures massacres of Jews during 
1939, see Alexander B. Rossino, 'Nazi Anti-Jewish Policy during the Polish Campaign: The Case of the 
Einsatzgruppe von Woyrsch', German Studies Review, Vol. 24, No. 1. (Feb., 2001), pp. 35-53. 

26 On antisemitic violence and rituals of humiliation in German everyday life, see the important recent work of 
Michael Wildt, 'Gewalt gegen Juden in Deutschland 1933-1939', WerkstattGeschichte 18, 1997, pp. 59-80.; 
and his monograph Volksgemeinschaft als Selbstermdchtigung. Gewalt gegen Juden in der deutschen Provinz 
1919 bis 1939. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2007, as well as the most recent study of the infamous 'Night of 
Broken Glass', the November pogrom of 1938, by Alan Steinweis, Kristallnacht 1938, Cambridge, MA: 
Belknap Press, 2009. 

27 See Trude Maurer, Ostjuden in Deutschland: 1918-1933. Hamburg: Hans Christian, 1986 as well as David 
Clay Large, ' "Out with the Ostjuden". The Scheunenviertel Riots in Berlin, November 1923', in: Hoffmann, 
Christhard, Werner Bergmann, Helmut Walser Smith (eds), Exclusionary Violence. Antisemitic Riots in Modern 
German History, Michigan: University Press, 2002, p. 123-40. It is worth recalling that Kristallnacht was 
triggered ultimately by Nazi Germany's expulsion of Polish Jews in October 1938: Jerzy Tomaszewski, Auftakt 
zur Vernichtung. Die Vertreibung polnischer Juden aus Deutschland im Jahre 1938, Osnabriick, 2002. 

28 See the examples compiled in Walter Manoschek (ed), "Es gibt nur eines fur das Judentum: Vernichtung". 
Das Judenbild in deutschen Soldatenbriefen 1939-1944. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1995, pp. Alexander B. 
Rossino, 'Destructive Impulses: German Soldiers and the Conquest of Poland', HGS 11/3, 1997, pp. 351-265. 

29 Occasionally, Mattogno has ritualistically invoked the name of Walter Sanning, pretty much the last 
negationist writer to try and address the question of numbers in any meaningful way. Cf. Mattogno, 'Denying 
Evidence', p. 245 and M&G, Treblinka, p. 293, a chapter ostensibly authored by Mattogno, although the 
footnote reads like an addition by either Graf or Germar Rudolf. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

multiple research projects in recent years 30 , it is obvious that the Holocaust in Poland cannot 
be reduced to a matter of three camps and a few handwaving remarks about the Warsaw 

After the high-level decisions reached in December 1941 (already touched on in 
Chapter 2) had been made, and the necessary preparations to begin the extermination 
concluded, the 'Final Solution of the Jewish Question' began in earnest on March 16, 1942, 
with near-simultaneous deportations from the ghettos of Lublin as well as Lwow in the 
Galicia district, and a number of provincial small towns in both districts. From May 1942, the 
camp at Belzec was joined by a second killing facility at Sobibor, which claimed the lives of 
Jews from the Lublin district as well as German, Austrian, Czech and Slovak Jews deported 
to the region from outside the Government-General. By June 1942, the initial operations had 
claimed well over 150,000 lives, and permission was forthcoming to extend the campaign to 
other districts in the Government-General. The Cracow district began to be targeted that same 
month 31 , before a transport stop was ordered until mid- July, in order to allow the free passage 
of reinforcements and supplies to the Eastern Front in preparation for the German summer 
campaign in eastern Ukraine and Russia. On July 22, 1942, the campaign, by then named 
Operation Reinhard in honour of the head of the RSHA, Reinhard Heydrich, who had been 
assassinated in Prague not long beforehand, was extended to encompass the Warsaw district, 
with the start of deportations from the Warsaw ghetto to a third extermination camp set up by 
Globocnik's staff at Treblinka. 32 In early August, the Radom district was sucked into the 
process, which henceforth ran at high speed across the whole of the Generalgouvernement. 33 
Deportations from the Radom district were directed almost exclusively to Treblinka and 

30 The first figure was calculated from the listings of Pinkas hakehillot Polin, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1976- 

2005, available online and; the second from Franz Golczewski, 'Polen' in: Wolfgang 
Benz (ed), Dimension des Volkermords: Die Zahl der jiidischen Opfer des Nationalsozialismus, Munich: 
Oldenbourg 1991, pp. 411-97. Regarding ghettos see also Guy Miron (ed), The Yad Vashem Encyclopedia of 
Ghettos During the Holocaust, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2010, 2 volumes. In 2012, USHMM will publish the 
second volume of their Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos 1939-1945, dedicated to ghettos, edited by Martin 
Dean. From samples shown to the present author the work will be of a very high quality. For ghettos in eastern 
Poland, i.e. Soviet-annexed territory, in this context the Bialystok district (at least 80 communities), and Galicia 
districts (139 communities) see also Ilya Altman, Kholokost na territorii SSSR. Entsiklopedia. Moscow: 
Rosspen, 2011, which is also an impressive work of collective research. The older Polish encyclopedia, with 
which Mattogno is familiar, remains a useful summary, although the USHMM encyclopedia will clearly eclipse 
it. Czeslaw Pilichowski (ed), Obozy hitlerowskie na ziemiach polskich 1939-1945, Warsaw, 1979 

31 Cf. Andrea Low and Markus Roth, Juden in Krakau unter deutscher Besatzung 1939-1944. Gottingen: 
Wallstein, 2011; Aleksander Bieberstein, Zaglada Zydow w Krakowie. Krakow, 1986. 

32 The literature on the Warsaw ghetto is large. For the most recent summary, see Barbara Engelking and Jacek 
Leociak, The Warsaw Ghetto: A Guide to the Perished City. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. 

33 Robert Seidel, Deutsche Besatzungspolitik in Polen. Der Distrikt Radom 1939-1945. Paderborn: Schonigh, 

2006, pp. 297-330; Jacek Andrzej Mlynarczyk, Judenmord in Zentralpolen. Der Distrikt Radom im 
Generalgouvernement 1939-1945. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2007. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

secondarily to Belzec; transports from the Cracow and Galicia districts went exclusively to 
Belzec; trains from the Warsaw district were exclusively sent to Treblinka; while the Jews of 
the Lublin district were murdered in all three camps. In November 1942, the Zichenau and 
Bialystok districts, both annexed to East Prussia and thus belonging to the 'incorporated 
territories', were drawn in to Operation Reinhard with transports directed to Treblinka, 
although trains left from both districts to Auschwitz at this time. 34 In mid-December 1942, a 
renewed transport stop to enable reinforcements to reach the collapsing Eastern Front and 
relieve the encircled German forces at Stalingrad brought the second phase of Operation 
Reinhard to an end. By the end of 1942, 1,274,166 Jews had been deported to the Reinhard 
camps. 35 

Alongside deportations, units of the SS and Police conducted so-called "local 
resettlements" in many districts, especially in smaller towns which lay some distance away 
from the rail lines. Over the course of 1942 and 1943, more than 300,000 Jews were killed on 
the spot in mass executions that affected every single district caught up in Operation 
Reinhard. In the Radom district, at least 11,000 were shot during the deportations. 36 A similar 
number were shot in the liquidation of the provincial ghettos of the Warsaw district 37 , while 
at least 5,000 Jews, in all probability well over 10,000, were shot in the Warsaw ghetto action 
of the summer of 1942. 38 In the Galicia district, over 70,000 Jews were murdered in 1941 by 
units of the Einsatzgruppen, Order Police and the static KdS Galizien, decimating the Jewish 
population of the region. 39 Through to the end of 1942, approximately 250,000 Jews were 

34 On the Bialystok district see Szymon Datner, 'Eksterminacja ludnosci zydowskiej w Okr^gu Bialostockim. 
Struktura administracyjna okr^gu Bialostockiego', BZIH 60, 1966, pp. 3-48; on Zichenau see Michal Grynberg, 
Zydzi w rejencji ciechanowskiej 1939-1942. Warsaw, 1984 as well as Jan Grabowski, 'Die antijiidische Politik 
im Regierungsbezirk Zichenau', in: Jacek Andrzej Mlynarczyk and Jochen Bohler (eds), Der Judenmord in den 
eingegliederten polnischen Gebieten 1939-1945. Osnabriick: fibre Verlag, 2010, pp. 99-116 and Andreas Schulz, 
'Regierungsbezirk Zichenau', in: Wolf Gruner and Jorg Osterloh (eds), Das ' Grossdeutsche Reich' und die 
Juden. Nationalsozialistische Verfolgung in den ' angegliederten Gebieten' . Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag, 
2010, pp. 261-282 

35 SSPF Lublin an BdS Krakau, 11.1.43, GPDD 355a, items 13/15, PRO HW 16/22. 

36 Seidel, Deutsche Besatzungspolitik, pp. 297-330, esp. p. 330. On the Holocaust in the Radom district, see also 
Jacek Andrzej Mlynarczyk, Judenmord in Zentralpolen. Der Distrikt Radom im Generalgouvernement 1939- 
1945. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2007; there are also two studies of the liquidation of the 
Kielce ghetto by Jacek Andrzej Mlynarczyk, 'Bestialstwo z urzedu. Organizacja hitlerowskich akcji 
deportacyjnych w ramach "Operacji Reinhard" na przykladzie likwidacji kieleckiego getta', Kwartalnik Historii 
Zydow 3, 2002, pp. 354-379; and Sara Bender, 'The Extermination of the Kielce Ghetto - New Study and 
Aspects Based on Survivors' Testimonies', Kwartalnik Historii Zydow 2/2006, pp. 185-199. 

37 Barbara Engelking, Jacek Leociak, Dariusz Libionka (eds), Prowincja Noc. Zycie i zaglada Zydow w 
dystrykcie warszawskim. Warsaw, 2007. 

38 Hilberg, Vernichtung, p. 530, citing Monatsberichte von Lichtenbaum, 5.9. and 5.10.42, ZStL Polen 365 d, 
S. 654-72 

39 See below. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

deported and another 70,000 shot "locally". 40 Shootings were almost as extensive in the 
Krakow district, in former western Galicia, where up to 60,000 Jews were shot in repeated 
actions through to the start of 1943. 41 

In 1943, after the closure of Belzec, shooting was more or less the only method used 
in eastern Galicia, claiming another 150,000 lives by the end of that year. Whereas the Jewish 
population of Galicia was counted at 278,000 on September 15, 1942, it had decreased to 
161,500 by the end of 1942. 42 A similar depletion is easily demonstrated for other districts. 
Whereas in early 1942, there were 300-320,000 Jews in the Lublin district, by July/August 
1942, this had fallen to 190,000 Jews, and by the end of the year shrunk to a mere remnant of 
20,000. 43 Across the whole Generalgouvernement, there were officially only 297,000 Jews 
left by the end of 1942, virtually all of whom were engaged in forced labour. The census of 
March 1, 1943 found 203,679 Jews left in the Generalgouvernement, a number that was 
reduced to around 80,000 by the start of 1944. 44 

The Origins of Aktion Reinhard 

It is typical of Mattogno - and negationism as a whole - that until Sobibor (2010), he made 
absolutely no effort to address the origins of Aktion Reinhard. Not a word is expended in 
Treblinka (2002) or Belzec (2004) about the direct decision-making processes leading up to 
the establishment of the Aktion Reinhard camps. Instead, Mattogno simply assumes that his 
version of Aktion Reinhard must have been ordered from the centre by Hitler, neatly 
absolving himself of the necessity of dealing with a variety of inconvenient evidence. A 
reader asking 'why did the Nazis build Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka?' comes away empty- 
handed after reading Treblinka or Belzec. Despite the addition of 25,000 words ostensibly on 
the 'Fuhrerbefehl and the Origins of the "Extermination Camps in the East", Sobibor doesn't 

40 For reconstructions of the deportations in the Galicia district, see Tatiana Berenstein, 'Eksterminacja ludnosci 
zydowskiej w dystrykcie Galicja (1941-1943), BZIH 61, 1967, pp. 3-58; Aleksander Kruglow, 'Deportacja 
ludnosci zydowskiej z dystryktu Galicja do obozu zaglady w Belzcu', BZIH 151, 1989, pp. 101-118, latter 
updated in Alexander Kruglov, The Losses Suffered By Ukrainian Jews in 1941-1944, Kharkov: Tarbut Laam, 
2005, chapters on Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Ternopil oblasti. 

41 E. Podhorizer-Sandel, 'O zagladzie Zydow w dystrykcie krakowskim', BZIH 30, 1959; Klaus-Michel 
Mallmann, ' 'Mensch, ich feiere heute' den tausenden Genickschuss'. Die Sicherheitspolizei und die Shoa in 
Westgalizien' in Gerhard Paul (ed), Die later der Shoah, pp. 109-136; cf. also Thomas Kiihne, Belonging and 
Genocide: Hitler's Community, 1918-1945. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010, pp. 55-94, for a discussion 
of Sicherheitspolizei behaviour in Nowy Sacz; Stawiarska, Malgorzata, 'Judenmorde in der polnischem Stadt 
Sanok wahrend des Zweites Weltkrieges', Kwartalnik Historii Zydow 4/2005, pp. 506-540 

42 Wlodzimierz Bonusiak, Malopolska Wschodnia pod rzajdami Trzeciej Rzeszy. Rzeszow: Wydawn. Wyz'szej 
Szkoly Pedagogicznej w Rzeszowie, 1990, p. 106; Korherr-Bericht, 19.4.1943, NO-5193. 

43 Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, pp. 100-1; Bevolkerung des Distrikts Lublin nach dem Stande vom 1. 
August 1942, Lublin, den 5. Marz 1943, AIPN CA 891/8, p.487, cf. Eisenbach, Hitlerowska polityka, p.426; 
Korherr-Bericht, 19.4.1943, NO-5193. 

44 Golczewski, 'Polen', p. 479. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

actually answer the question, either. Instead, Chapter 8 turns out to be a mishmash of 
previous Mattogno texts together with newer scrapings, with very little of direct relevance to 
the evolution of Nazi Jewish policy in the Generalgouvernement or the origins of Aktion 
Reinhard. Section 8.1 is a ham-fisted gloss on the debate on the origins of the Final Solution 
as a whole, which has already been dealt with in Chapter 2 of this critique. Several later 
sections deal with the minutiae of the construction of gas chambers, and as such will be 
examined in Chapter 5 of this critique. Meanwhile, Section 8.5 is ostensibly dedicated to 
'Euthanasia and Aktion Reinhardt', belatedly trying to paper over one of the greatest 
dishonesties of the preceding volumes of the 'trilogy' - the utter silence on the connection 
between the T4 euthanasia program and its six gas chambers, and the three death camps of 
Aktion Reinhard. 

Slaloming between high policy and the pointless nitpicking of SS witness testimonies 
about the size and shape of gas chambers, Mattogno further confuses matters by staging his 
very own Rocky Horror Picture Show and does the timewarp again. One suspects that even 
diehard negationists would find the chapter hard to read because of the chronological and 
thematic confusions littering the text. The attentive reader who is familiar with the actual 
literature and sources, however, will notice that once the game of musical chairs has stopped, 
once again a whole wealth of evidence is left out, and that once again, Mattogno 's grasp of 
existing historiography and interpretations is shaky at best. His inability to stick to the topic 
at hand, as well as his limited engagement with the relevant historiography, is nowhere better 
illustrated than in Section 8.2, 'Origins and Significance of "Aktion Reinhardt",' which 
despite the promising sounding title mostly turns out to be a reprint of a previous spiel on the 
origins of Birkenau. 45 As with so many of Mattogno's recent texts, the spiel seems to have 
been inspired by his frustration at reading a single article by a mainstream historian, in this 
case an important essay by Jan Erik Schulte. 46 Schulte's article does indeed discuss in 
passing an important way-station on the road to Aktion Reinhard, the SS and Police 
Strongpoints project assigned to Odilo Globocnik in July 1941, but this is really not an 
excuse for Mattogno to rehearse less than relevant details about the construction of Birkenau, 
especially if he is unwilling to also read Schulte's book, which goes into considerably more 

45 Carlo Mattogno, 'Genesi e funzioni del campo nel Birkenau', AAARGH, June 2008, in English as 'Origins 
and Function of the Birkenau Camp', Inconvenient History 2/2, 2010; references repeated in verbatim sequence 
in Carlo Mattogno, 'Azione Reinhard' e 'Azione 1005', Genova: Effepi, 2008. 

46 Jan Erik Schulte, 'Vom Arbeits- zum Vernichtungslager. Die Entstehungsgeschichte von Auschwitz-Birkenau 
1941/42', VfZ 50, 2002, pp.41-69. It is telling that Mattogno only 'responded' to Schulte after the 
Viertelsjahreshefte fiir Zeitgeschichte were made available as free downloads from the IfZ website. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

detail regarding the Strongpoints project 47 , or the work of other authors such as Michael Thad 
Allen who have examined the same project and its context. 48 As we will see below, it is 
either Mattogno's inattentiveness and inability to read Schulte's article properly, or an act of 
flagrant and deliberate dishonesty, which leads him to make one of several howlers regarding 
Globocnik and the origins of Aktion Reinhard. 

Other howlers stem from the near-systematic omission or ignorance of relevant 
literature. Among the many texts one might recommend to students in the English-speaking 
world and in Germany who were seeking to explore the origins of Aktion Reinhard are, of 
course, the works of Christopher Browning 49 , essays by Christian Gerlach 50 , the research of 
Bogdan Musial, above all an important article actually entitled 'The Origins of Operation 
Reinhard' 51 , as well as biographies of Odilo Globocnik and Hans Frank. 52 Indeed, the theme 
has been examined in further dedicated essays by Dieter Pohl 53 , Peter Klein 54 and Jacek 
Mlynarczyk. 55 Literally none of these texts are cited by Mattogno. 56 Indeed, a not 
insignificant interpretative controversy has erupted around the origins of Aktion Reinhard 
and the significance of the construction of Belzec in the autumn of 1941, partially centred 
around the evaluation of Eichmann's testimonies, with Musial and Browning ranged on one 
side against Gerlach, Pohl and Mlynarczyk on the other. 57 Evidently this dispute entirely 

47 Jan Erik Schulte, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung: das Wirtschaftsimperium der SS; Oswald Pohl und das SS- 
Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt 1933-45. Paderborn, 2001. The Strongpoints project is examined 
exhaustively on pp. 264-313, as indeed Schulte unsurprisingly reminds the reader of his article on p. 46. 

48 Michael Thad Allen, The Business of Genocide. The SS, Slave Labor and the Concentration Camps. Chapel 
Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002, especially Chapter 4. 

49 See Browning, Nazi Policy; Browning, Collective Memories; Browning, Origins. 

50 Gerlach, 'Wannsee Conference'. 

51 Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung; as well as the essays 'The Origins of 'Operation Reinhard': The Decision- 
Making Process for the Mass Murder of the Jews in the Generalgouvernement', Yad Vashem Studies XXVIII, 
2000, pp. 113-153, and 'Urspriinge der „Aktion Reinhardt". Planung des Massenmordes an den Juden im 
Generalgouvernement' in: Bogdan Musial (ed), "Aktion Reinhardt". Der Volkermord an den Juden im 
Generalgouvernement 1941-1944. Osnabriick: fibre Verlag, 2004, pp. 49-85 

52 Siegfried Pucher, ' der Bewegung fuhrend tatig.' Odilo Globocnik - Kampfer fur den "Anchluss", 
Vollstrecker der Holocaust, Klagenfurt, 1997; Popreczny, Globocnik; Rieger, Globocnik;; Dieter Schenk, Hans 
Frank. Hitlers Kronjurist und Generalgouverneur. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer Verlag, 2006 

53 Dieter Pohl, 'Die "Aktion Reinhard" im Lichte der Historiographie' and 'Die Stellung des Distrikts Lublin in 
der "Endlosung der Judenfrage",' in: Musial (ed), "Aktion Reinhard", pp. 15-47 and 87-107 

54 Peter Klein, 'Die Rolle der Vernichtungslager Kulmhof (Chelmno), Belzec und Auschwitz-Birkenau in den 
friihen Deportationsvorbereitungen' in Dittmar Dahlmann and Gerhard Hirschfeld (eds), Lager, Zwangsarbeit 
und Deportation. Dimensionen der Massenverbrechen in der Sowjetunion und in Deutschland 1933-1945. 
Essen: Klartext Verlag, 1999, pp.459-81 

55 Jacek Andrzej Mlynarczyk, 'Mordinitiativen von unten. Die Rolle Arthur Greisers und Odilo Globocnik im 
Entscheidungsprozess zum Judenmord' in: Jacek Andrzej Mlynarczyk and Jochen Bohler (eds), Der Judenmord 
in den eingegliederten polnischen Gebieten 1939-1945. Osnabriick: fibre Verlag, 2010, pp. 27-56 

56 In fairness, Kues does cite from Musial's dissertation in MGK, Sobibor, p. 169 n.488, in a different context. 
But this only begs a question: why did Kues not alert Mattogno to the existence of this book? 

57 For a summary of this controversy to the turn of the millennium, see Christian Gerlach, 'The Eichmann 
Interrogations in Holocaust Historiography', HGS 15/3, 2001, pp. 428-452. On Eichmann's testimonies and 
memoirs in general, see Irmtrud Wojak, Eichmanns Memoiren. Ein kritischer Essay. Frankfurt am Main, 2001 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

passed Mattogno by. Instead, we are treated to the spectacle of citations from the proceedings 
of a conference 58 that took place twenty-seven years ago being passed off as the latest word 
on the subject, 

Nor does Mattogno have much to say about the backdrop against which all decisions 
regarding Aktion Reinhard were taken, the radicalisation of policy and practice towards Jews 
in both eastern and western Poland as a consequence of Operation 'Barbarossa'. The 
'Barbarossa' build-up led to the suspension of Nazi resettlement projects, in particular the 
'third short range plan', on the one hand, but also to a further round of ghettoisation on the 

After all, 'Barbarossa' did not simply prompt further iterations of Nazi resettlement 
plans, but led directly to an escalation in the mass murder of Jews in Poland. Of the 1.3 
million Jews of Soviet-annexed eastern Poland 59 , more than 200,000 were murdered in the 
first six months of the occupation. 60 This wave of mass murder, already touched on in 
Chapter 2, had a number of implications for the radicalisation of Nazi Judenpolitik in Poland 

58 Eberhard Jackel and Jiirgen Rohwer (eds), Der Mord an den Juden im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Entschlussbildung 
und Verwirklichung. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, 1985, which, as Mattogno helpfully reminds us (MGK, 
Sobibor, p. 227) is the proceedings of a conference held from May 3-5, 1984. This collection is cited five times 
in Chapter 8 of Sobibor. 

59 The most detailed estimate of the Jewish population of the kresy can be found in Mordecai Altshuler, Soviet 
Jewry on the Eve of the Holocaust. A Social and Demographic Profile. Jerusalem, 1998. Compared to the 
prewar population in 1939, the kresy saw a slight increase in Jewish population, caused by the arrival of over 
300,000 refugees from western Poland. By early 1940, there were more than 72,000 refugees in Belorussia (see 
Emanuil Ioffe and Viacheslav Selemenev (intr.), 'Jewish Refugees from Poland in Belorussia, 1939-1940', Jews 
in Eastern Europe, Spring 1997, pp. 45-50) and large numbers in Lithuania, whose presence was likewise 
tracked in the 1940 Soviet census of Wilno (cf. Victor H. Winston, 'Observations on the Population of Vilnius: 
The Grim Years and the 1942 Census', Journal of Eurasian Geography and Economics, 47/2, March-April 
2006). Pohl, Ostgalizien, estimates 200,000 refugees in eastern Galicia. In June 1940, the NKVD organised 
deportations of many but not all of the refugees. The end of the Cold War and opening of the Soviet archives, as 
well as the strong interest of Polish society in the fate of Poles inhabiting the kresy, has led to the publication of 
more precise and also significantly lower figures than circulated in the Cold War era. Accordingly the fantasies 
of Sanning, Dissolution of European Jewry, as well as any negationist arguments relying on similar claims of 
mass deportations of Jews from eastern Poland, can be dismissed out of hand. For the older picture see Jan 
Tomasz Gross, Revolution from Abroad. The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western 
Belorussia. Oxford: OUP, 2002 (1st edition 1988) and his article 'The Sovietization of Western Ukraine and 
Western Byelorussia' in Norman Davies and Antony Polonsky, Antony (eds), Jews in Eastern Poland and the 
USSR, 1939-1946. New York, 1991, pp. 60-76. For the correct picture, see above all A.E. Gurianov (ed), 
Repressii protiv poliakov i pol'skikh grazhdan. Moscow: Zven'ia, 1997, as well as the comprehensive 
demographic survey by Andrzej Gawryszewski, Ludnosc polski w XX wieku. Warsaw, 2005. Courtesy of 
Professor Gawryszewski, the authors of this critique have previously published detailed transport lists of the 
NKVD deportations from the kresy: 

60 For regional studies, see for the Wilno region Dieckmann, Deutsche Besatzungspolitik; for Bezirk Bialystok 
Szymon Datner, 'Eksterminacja ludnosci zydowskiej w Okr^gu Bialostockim. Struktura administracyjnq okr^gu 
Bialostockiego', BZIH 60, 1966, pp. 3-48; for GK Weissruthenien and the Belorussian part of GK Wolhynien 
Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde; for Volhynia Spector, Holocaust of Volhynian Jewry; for eastern Galicia Pohl, 
Ostgalizien; Sandkiihler, Endlosung in Ostgalizien; covering both Galicia and Volhynia see also Alexander 
Kruglov, The Losses Suffered By Ukrainian Jews in 1941-1944, Kharkov: Tarbut Laam, 2005; Kruglov, 'Jewish 
Losses in Ukraine, 1941-1944', p. 278, calculates that 87,500 Jews died in regions of the Ukraine which were 
formerly part of eastern Poland. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

as a whole. Firstly, many of the units participating in the killings had in fact served as 
occupation forces in the western Generalgouvernement prior to 'Barbarossa'. For example, 
Police Battalion 309, responsible for the chaotic and violent massacre in Bialystok at the start 
of July 1941, had been based in the Radom district during the winter of 1940-41. 61 More 
striking still was the commitment of forces of the Security Police under the command of BdS 
Ost Eberhard Schongarth, deployed to eastern Poland as the so-called Einsatzgruppe zbV. 
Acting under orders from Heydrich 62 which likewise mobilised the Gestapo of East Prussia 
as Einsatzkommando Tilsit and an Einsatzkommando from Stapostelle Zichenau, 
Einsatzgruppe zbV was formed by mobilising 230 Sipo officers and men from the Security 
Police of the western Generalgouvernement. The largest force, 150 men from KdS Krakau, 
formed Einsatzkommando zbV Lemberg, divided into four troops, which took over eastern 
Galicia from Einsatzgruppe C and became the new KdS Lemberg in September 1941. 63 The 
Warsaw Security Police provided at least 118 men as Einsatzkommando zbV Bialystok, with 
4 troops slated for Bialystok, Grodno, Minsk and Nowogrodek. In mid- July it was operating 
in all these locations with the exception of Minsk: the troop was instead to be found in 
Baranovichi. Meanwhile, the Lublin Security Police (KdS Lublin) detached an initial 30 men 
as Einsatzkommando zbV Brest, divided into troops for Brest-Litovsk and Pinsk, with a 
further troop at first slated for Gomel. By mid- July, Einsatzkommando zbV Brest was 
operating with troops in Brest, Pinsk, Luck, Rowno, Kowel and Rawa Ruska. 64 With some 
few exceptions, most notably Trupp Bonifer assigned to Minsk, which eventually found its 
way into KdS Weissruthenien, the troops of Einsatzkommandos zbV Bialystok and Brest 
were withdrawn back to their home bases in Warsaw and Lublin by September 1941. Among 
the Sipo men who spent their summer holidays engaged in 'execution tourism' in eastern 
Poland was Josef Blosche, better known to survivors of the Warsaw ghetto as 'Frankenstein' 
and the SS man photographed in the Stroop report taking a small boy prisoner. 65 

61 Stefan Klemp, 'Kolner Polizebataillone in Osteuropa: Die Polizeibataillone 69, 309, 319 und die 
Polizeireservekompanie Koln' in Harald Buhlan and Werner Jung (eds), Wessen Freund und Wessen Heifer? 
Die Kolner Polizei im Nationalsozialismus, Cologne: Emons Verlag, 2000, pp. 277-98; Curilla, Judenmord in 
Polen, pp. 244-255. 

62 FS Chef der Sipo u.d.SD an alle Einsatzgruppenchefs, Befehl Nr. 6, 4.7.41, gez. Heydrich, RGVA 500-1-25, 

63 EM 11, 3.7.41, p. 7; Pohl, Ostgalizien, p. 73. Among the officers transferred from Cracow to Galicia was Hans 
Kriiger, who swiftly acquired a reputation for viciousness once in the Stanislawow region. See Dieter Pohl, 
'Hans Kriiger and the Murder of Jews in the Region of Stanislawow (Galicia)', YVS 26, 1998, pp. 239-264 as 
well as 'Hans Kriiger - der 'Konig von Stanislau' ' in Mallmann/Paul (eds), Karrieren der Gewalt, pp. 134-144 

64 EM 11, 3.7.41, p. 7; EM 25, 17.7.41, p.2; Tatigkeitsbericht Einsatzgruppe B, published in Klein (ed), 
Einsatzgruppen, p. 379. Paymaster correspondence from Einsatzkommando zbV Bialystok survives in RGVA 
1323-2-59, giving comprehensive name lists of the assigned officers and enlisted men. 

65 Vernehmngsporotokolle Josef Blosche, 11.1-10.3.1967, BStU ZUV 15/1, p.l21ff 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

The activities of Einsatzgruppe zbV are reported coldly and clinically in the 
Einsatzgruppen reports, detailing execution and arrest figures usually by Kommando and 
time frame, but with noticeable gaps. From July 21 to September 9, 1941, a total of 19,338 
executions were recorded, overwhelmingly of Jews; but this does not fully account for the 
carnage wrought by Schongarth's men. 66 Executions by Einsatzkommando zbV Bialystok 
can be identified in SS reports 67 as well in military records 68 from the first three weeks of 
July. Moreover, Trupp Pinsk of Einsatzkommando zbV Brest under SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer 
Hess assisted the SS-Cavalry Brigade in the notorious action of early August 1941 in Pinsk, 
claiming the execution of 4,500 Jews to its own account. 69 With this action, SS men stationed 
in the western Generalgouvernement crossed the threshold of a four figure mass murder. 

Secondly, consciousness of the escalation to mass murder and genocide further east 
spread rapidly through the SS hierarchy in the Generalgouvernement. Not only did many of 
the men of Einsatzgruppe zbV return home to their postings in the Warsaw and Lublin 
districts, but the BdS Schongarth as well as the HSSPF, Friedrich-Wilhelm Kriiger, were on 
the distribution list to receive the RSHA-compiled Einsatzgruppen reports. 70 Thus all SS 
decision-making in the Generalgouvernement was made against the backdrop of a growing 
awareness of the larger and larger numbers of Jews reported as executed in the occupied 
Soviet Union. 

This awareness can likewise be demonstrated for the prime mover within the 
decision-making process leading up to Aktion Reinhard, the SSPF Lublin, Odilo Globocnik. 
On July 17, 1941, Himmler visited Lublin to confer with Globocnik and issued a series of 
orders. Firstly, he nominated Globocnik as "Plenipotentiary for the Establishment of SS and 

66 EM 43, 5.8.41, NARA T175/233/2721775; EM 47, 9.8.41, T175/233/2721840; EM Nr. 56, 18.8.41, 
T175/233/2721972; EM 58, 20.8.41, T175/233/2721965; EM 66, 28.8.41, p.2-3; EM 67, 29.8.41, 
T175/233/272167; EM 78, 9.8.41, T175/233/2722248 EM 91, 22.9.41, T175/233/2722501 

67 See Polizeilicher Lagebericht Einsatzgruppe B, 9-16.7.41, published in Johannes Hiirter, 'Auf dem Weg zur 
Militaropposition. Tresckow, von Gersdorff, der Vernichtungskrieg und der Judenmord. Neue Dokumente iiber 
das Verhaltnis der Heeresgruppe Mitte zur Einsatzgruppe B im Jahr 1941', VfZ 3/2004, pp. 527-562 

68 An unnamed Einsatzgruppen unit executed 30 male Jews in Bielsk on July 5, 1941. From known deployment 
locations, this was the work of Trupp Bielsk of Einsatzkommando Bialystok. Der Befehlshaber der 
Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (Einsatzgruppe), Bekanntmachung, n.d, NARA T501/2/142 

69 EM 58, 20.8.41, NARA T175/233/2721965. As shown in Cuppers, Wegbereiter des Shoahs, p.158, the SS- 
Cavalry Brigade demonstrably lost track of its bodycounts in this operation, misfiling morning and evening 
signals. Eyewitness accounts estimate up to 9,000 Jews were killed at Pinsk in the course of the Aktion, a figure 
which is rendered entirely plausible by the presence of two bodycount-claiming units, of which one had as 
mentioned, lost track of its killings. For the context see also Rozenblat/Elenskaia, Pinskie evrei. 

70 Cf. Klaus-Michel Mallmann, Andrej Angrick, Jiirgen Matthaus, Martin Cuppers (eds), Die 
'Ereignismeldungen UdSSR' 1941. Dokumente der Einsatzgruppen in der Sowjetunion. Darmstadt: 
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2011 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Police Strongpoints in the New Eastern Space". 71 Secondly, he ordered that "the ancient 
German city centre [of Lublin] should be included as part of the overall construction plan for 
the SS and police quarter" and that "the operation 'In Search of German Blood' will be 
expanded to include the entire Generalgouvernement; a major settlement area will be created 
in the German colonies near Zamosc." In the same missive, Himmler ordered the 
establishment of a new concentration camp in Lublin, the future Majdanek camp, for 25- 
50,000 prisoners. The purpose of the camp was to supply labour for SS enterprises supporting 
the establishment of the Strongpoints and to support the Germanisation of the Lublin 
district. 72 Thus, Himmler placed multiple tasks on Globocnik's shoulders - the 
Germanisation of the Lublin district, the construction of Strongpoints in the occupied Soviet 
Union, and the supervision of the construction of the Majdanek concentration camp, which 
would serve both of the first two aims. 

From the outset, Globocnik was ordered to cooperate with SS-Gruppenfuher Oswald 
Pohl in his capacity as ultimate head of Hauptamt Haushalt und Bauten, and thus with the 
newly reorganised Amt II Bauten under Hans Kammler, only recently transferred to the SS 
from the Luftwaffe construction branch. 73 In similar fashion, although the future KL Lublin 
was to be formally subordinated to the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps, with the veteran 
SS-Standartenfuhrer Karl Koch of Buchenwald assigned as commandant, Globocnik was to 
exert considerable influence over Majdanek in its initial development. The head of the same 
construction inspectorate (Bauinspektion), SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Lenzer, was tasked with the 
construction of Majdanek while also overseeing the construction of Globocnik's strongpoints. 
In August 1941, Kammler ordered Lenzer to secure Globocnik's approval for the layout of an 
interim camp accommodating 6,000 prisoners. 74 This duality of command was to lead to 
serious conflicts between Globocnik's staff and Kammler-Pohl's organisation. 

The purpose of both the Strongpoints and Majdanek was to lay the groundwork for an 
SS infrastructure in support of Himmler's settlement plans for Eastern Europe. The Lublin 

71 Himmler an Globocnik, 17.7.1941, NARA-BDC SS-OA Odilo Globocnik. On the Strongpoints project in 
general, see Schulte, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung , pp. 264-313 

72 Himmler, Vermerk, 21.7.1941, NARA-BDC SS-OA Odilo Globocnik, also published in Czeslaw Madajczyk 
(ed), Zamojszcyzna - Sonderlaboratorium SS: zbior dokumentow polskich i niemieckich z okresu okupacji 
hitierowskiej . Warsaw, 1979, t.l, p.26ff; cf. Tomasz Kranz, 'Das KL Lublin - zwischen Planung und 
Realisierung', in: Ulrich Herbert, Karin Orth, Christoph Dieckmann (eds), Die nationalsozialistischen 
Konzentrationslager - Entwicklung und Struktur, Bd. I, Gottingen 1998, pp. 363-389 

73 On Kammler see Allen, Business of Genocide, pp. 140-8; Rainer Frobe, 'Hans Kammler - Technokrat der 
Vernichtung' in Ronald Smelser and Enrico Syring (eds), Die SS: Elite unter dem Totenkopf. 30 Lebensldufe. 
Paderborn, 2000, pp.305-319. 

74 Der Chef des Amtes II-Bauten an den Leiter der Bauinspektion beim Sonderbeauftragten des RF-SS fur die 
Errichtung von SS- u. Polizeistiitzpunkte im neuen Osttraum SS-Stubaf Lenzer, Betr.: Zwischenlager Lublin, 
6.8.1941, gez. Kammler, BA DH KL/Hafta, Verschiedene Nr. 7 (Getto). 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

district was slated for rapid Germanisation, while the newly occupied Soviet territories were 
to be Germanised in a long-term project, the Generalplan Ost. Two days after the start of 
'Barbarossa', Himmler had met with his chief settlement expert, the agriculture professor and 
SS-Oberfiihrer Konrad Meyer-Hetling of the RFKDV and tasked him with drawing up a 
preliminary draft of the GPO. 75 This was then delivered on July 15, shortly before Himmler's 
visit to Lublin. 76 Quite separately from Himmler's plans, Hitler decided the following day, at 
a meeting with Rosenberg, Bormann, Goring and Keitel but not attended by Himmler, that 
the Baltic states and Crimea would be annexed into the Reich. 77 This forced Meyer to adjust 
his planning, beginning a cycle of drafting and redrafting of the GPO that was to last until the 
end of 1942. It did not, however, affect the immediate preparations for the Strongpoints. 

Globocnik's task of establishing police bases was intended to identify and carve out 
suitable locations for garrisons of the Ordnungspolizei which could then be used as 
settlement bridgeheads. The project thus harmonised security and settlement aims, and 
involved multiple SS main offices. The first orders for the Strongpoints project went out on 
July 30 78 and 31, with Globocnik outlining the organisation that would be tasked with the 
construction of the strongpoints. 79 To this end, he also established an 'Office of the 
Plenipotentiary of SS and Police Strongpoints in the New Eastern Space' on August 8, 1941. 
SS-Obersturmfiihrer Hanelt was thereby tasked with the "theoretical" elaboration of the "total 
planning of the SS Strongpoints" as well as the "Jew-cleansing" (Judenbereinigung). 80 

Far from confining himself to planning 'positive' Germanisation, Globocnik thus 
intended to harness the settlement plans to the solution of the "Jewish Question". Rudolf 
Hoss, commandant of Auschwitz, wrote in his Krakow jail cell that Globocnik had 

75 Dienstkalender, p. 179 (24.6.41) 

76 Meyer an Himmler, 15.7.1941 in: Czeslaw Madajczyk (ed), Vom Generalplan Ostium Gener aisle dlungsplan, 
Munich, 1994, p. 14. The plan itself is lost, only the cover letter survives, but other sources enable its 
reconstruction. See Karl Heinz Roth, ' "Generalplan Ost" - "Gesamtplan Ost". Forschungsstand, 
Quellenprobleme, neue Ergebnisse' in Mechtild Rossler and Sabine Schleiermacher (eds), Der "Generalplan 
Ost". Hauptllnlen der nationalsozialistischen Planungs- und Vernichtungspolitik, Berlin, 1993, pp. 25-117 

77 Vermerk iiber die Besprechung am 16.7.1941, L-221, IMT XXXVIII, pp.86-94 

78 There are extant orders signed by Himmler, Daluege and Heydrich. Der RFSS und Chef der Deutschen 
Polizei im RMI O.-Kdo I g Nr. 23/41 (g), 25.7.1941, gez. Himmler; Der RFSS und Chef der Deutschen Polizei 
im RMI O-Kdo. I g Nr 22/41 (g), Planung und Bau der SS- und Polizeistutzpunkte, 31.7.1941, gez. Daluege, 
RGVA 1323-1-50, pp.9-R, 12-13; CSSD IV A 1 d B.Nr. 573 B/41 g., Beabsichtigte Organisation der Polizei in 
denbesetzten Ostgebieten, 30.7.41, gez. Heydrich, TsDAVOV 3576-4-116, pp. 60-2. 

79 Der Beauftragte fur die Errichtung der SS- und Polizeistutzpunkte im neuen Ostraum, Organisations -Befehl 
Nr. 1, 31.7.41, gez. Globocnik, TsDAVOV 3576-4-116, pp.63-65 (USHMM RG31.002M/11) 

80 SS-Obersturmfiihrer Hanelt, Notiz fur den 9.8.1941, AIPN CA 891/6, p.ll, published in full in Michael G. 
Esch, 'Die "Forschungsstelle fur Ostunterkiinfte" in Lublin (Dokument)', 1999, 11/2, 1996, pp. 62-96, here 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

fantastic plans of bases stretching all the way to the Urals... He didn't see any 
difficulties here and rejected all criticism with a superior sweep of the hand. 
Insofar as he did not need them for labour at "his" bases, he wanted to liquidate 
the Jews in these areas on the spot. 81 

Hoss' account of Globocnik's intentions towards Soviet Jews, their property and 
labour potential receives indirect confirmation from an order of mid-September 1941: 
Globocnik forbade the payment of wages to Jews working for the SS and Police, as "Jews 
undertake forced labour". 82 

The siting, moreover, of the initial Strongpoints placed Globocnik's project in direct 
contact with several sites of mass extermination. Four main strongpoints were established 
under the auspices of Globocnik's organisation. Three were located in the territory of the 
planned Reichskommissariat Ostland, in Riga, Minsk and in Mogilev; the course of the battle 
of Moscow meant that the latter site remained under military administration. The fourth site 
shifted first from Starakonstantinov to Zwiahel (Novograd Volynsky) 83 and finally Kiev in 
Ukraine. Subsidiary sites were set up on the orders of the Hauptamt Ordnungspolizei and by 
the regional HSSPFs. For the territory of Weissruthenien, von dem Bach ordered the 
occupation of Strongpoints in Bialystok, Baranovichi, Bobruisk and Vitebsk in addition to the 
major centres at Minsk and Mogilev. 84 The four main sites, however, received the most 
attention and resources. Globocnik's staff cooperated with the construction inspectorates set 
up by Oswald Pohl in the establishment of the bases. Private contract firms were sent to the 
occupied Soviet Union to begin construction. 85 One such contractor, Firma Macher of 
Munich, staged out to Ukraine from Auschwitz. 86 The SS officers tasked to lead the 
individual Strongpoints in the Soviet Union were all Globocnik men who later became 
heavily involved in Aktion Reinhardt. In Riga, the representative from Lublin was SS- 

81 Rudolf Hoss, Commandant of Auschwitz, London: Pan Books Edition, 1959, S.258 (Appendix 7) 

82 SSPF Lublin an der Leiter der Aussenstellen des Beauftragten des RFSS fur die Errichtung der SS und 
Pol.Stutzpunkte im neuen Ostraum, 15.9.41, GPD 359, PRO HW16/32. Cf. also the British intelligence analysis 
in Summary of German Police Decodes 1-30.9.41, ZIP/MSG29, p.6, PRO HW 16/6 ptl: "The problem of labour 
for the construction of these bases has a simple solution: the Jews. A Jewish work-command (Arbeitskdo) is to 
be inaugurated for the construction of a troop supply depot on confiscated ground in Minsk (10.9.41/20). It is a 
particularly acceptable solution since by an order from SSPF Lublin it is forbidden to pay Jews any wages 

83 Schulte, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung, pp. 270-2 

84 Aussenstelle Russland Mitte an SS-Brigaf. Globocnik, 11.10.41, GPD 398 (21.10.41), item 20, PRO 

85 SS-Ostuf Conrad an Bauinspektion der Waffen SS Nord, Hstuf List, z.Hd Baugesellschaft Eigen, Ostuf 
Uhrmann, Riga, 20.10.41, GDP 428 (5.11.41), item 32, PRO HW 16/32. 

86 Zentrale Bauinspektion Lublin an Bauinspektion Sud, SS-Ustuf Zingraf, Kiew, 10.11.41, GPD 482 (10.12.41 
No 1), item 33, PRO HW 16/32 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

Obersturmfiihrer Georg Michalsen, later Globocnik's deportation expert. 87 In Minsk, SS- 
Obersturmfuhrer Kurt Claasen, also a future Aktion Reinhard deportation organiser, was 
assigned, while in Mogilev, Sturmbannfuhrer Dolp, former commandant of the Belzec labour 
camp in 1940, and Globocnik's future chief of staff Hauptsturmfuhrer Hermann Hofle, were 
involved. 88 Finally, the commander of the SS-und Polizeistiitzpunkt in Kiev was SS- 
Obersturmfuhrer Richard Thomalla, future architect of Sobibor. 

Neither Globocnik nor his plenipotentiaries could have been unaware of the mass 
executions of Jews in Riga, Minsk, Mogilev and Kiev during the summer and autumn of 
1941. Nor is it likely that Globocnik and his men were unaware of the killing experiments, 
including the use of carbon monoxide gas, that were carried out against psychiatric patients in 
Minsk and Mogilev in the same time-frame. 89 Indeed, Georg Wippern, later Globocnik's 
chief of administration, testified after the war to overhearing Hofle and Michalsen joking 
about the gassing experiments they had conducted in the Soviet Union. 90 There is no 
evidence that Hofle, who later hid behind his posting to Mogilev to cover up his involvement 
in Aktion Reinhard 91 , had in fact initiated or participated in the experimental gassing at 
Mogilev, and thus was surely boasting, but his exposure and close proximity to an 
experimental mass killing using carbon monoxide generated by engine exhaust is more than 

A fifth major site, Lwow, evolved from a Strongpoint into the major regional labour 
and transit camp for the Galicia district. The future Janowska camp evolved from enterprises 
identified by Fritz Gebauer, director of the Deutsche Ausriistungswerke (DAW) in Lwow, as 
potentially useful for the "Strongpoint Lemberg". 92 The first guards were taken from the SS- 
Sonderkommando Dirlewanger, then stationed in Lublin under Globocnik's command. 93 

87 Cf. Andrej Angrick, 'Georg Michaelsen - Handlungsreisender der 'Endlbsung' ' in Klaus -Michel Mallmann 
und Gerhard Paul (hg.), Karrieren der Gewalt. Nationalsozialistische Tdterbiographien, Darmstadt: 
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2004, pp. 156-165 

88 SSPF Lublin an Aussenstelle Mitte, SS Ustuf Claasen, Minsk, 14.10.41, GPD 401 (23.10.41), item 40, PRO 

89 On these experiments, see Chapter 4 below, as well as Angelika Ebbinghaus and Gerd Preissler, 'Die 
Ermordung psychisch kranker Menschen in der Sowjetunion' in Gotz Aly et al (eds), Aussonderung und Tod. 
Die klinische Hinrichtung der Unbrauchbaren. Berlin, 1985, pp. 75-107 

90 Vernehmungsprotokoll Georg Wippern, Saarbrucken, 6.12.1962, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 251/59, Bd.9, 

91 See Chapter 1 and Hofle's interrogations compiled in Ajenstat/Buk/Harlan, (eds), Hermann Hofle. 

92 Fritz Gebauer an SSPF Galizien, 21.8.1941, AIPN CA 891/3, p.l. Gebauer's note was cc'ed to the Lublin 
Dienststelle for Strongpoints and the SS-Mannschaftshaus in Lublin. 

93 Thomas Sandkiihler, 'Das Zwangsarbeitslager Lemberg- Janowska 1941-1944' in Ulrich Herbert, Karin Orth, 
Christoph Dieckmann (eds), Die nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager - Entwicklung und Struktur, Bd. II, 
Gottingen, 1998, pp. 606-635. Globocnik men similarly provided the supervisory cadres for the nascent network 
of labour camps in the Galicia district. Most came from the staff of a forced labour camp in Biala Podlaska 
closed in the summer of 1941. Sandkiihler, Endlosung in Ostgalizien, p. 495 note 98 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Thomas Sandkiihler has identified circumstantial evidence that Janowska was considered as a 
deportation destination for Jews from the Reich in late 1941. He has also emphasised a 
separate development, namely contacts between the director of the health department of the 
Governor of the Galicia District, Dr Dopheide, and the T4 euthanasia organisation in Berlin 
during November 1941. 94 The combination does not indicate, as Sandkiihler has speculated, 
that a potential extermination camp was planned for Lwow, but it does underscore the 
widespread knowledge inside the German occupation authorities across Eastern Europe of the 
availability of specialist techniques for killing: Dopheide's request was in order to eliminate 
the patients of the Lwow psychiatric hospital. As Linden could not supply T4 personnel, 
Dopheide's staff opted to starve the psychiatric patients to death: a total of 1,179 patients died 
by June 1, 1942. 95 

This was not the first time that the T4 euthanasia program was connected to the 
Generalgouvernement. In 1940, Jewish psychiatric patients were collected in a waystation 
asylum at Wunstorf in Hannover before being transported onwards to T4 killing centres. 
Rather than send out death certificates from Wunstorf or a T4 centre, in order to maintain 
deception, the euthanasia organisation opted to notify relatives that the Jewish patients had 
been transferred to the 'Cholm-II' or 'Chelm-II' 96 hospital in Chelm county of the Lublin 
district. In actual fact the notifications were drafted in Berlin. A courier travelled to Lublin in 
order to mail out any correspondence, in all probability this was Erich Fettke, later the courier 
between T4 and Aktion Reinhard. 97 In reality, there was no psychiatric hospital at Chelm at 
all; its 441 inmates had been murdered on 12 January 1940 and the facility was closed for the 
duration of the war. 98 

Whether the SS in Lublin knew of the T4 deception over Chelm or not, in September 
1941, Victor Brack and Philipp Bouhler, the directors of T4, visited Globocnik in Lublin. 99 
Brack, whose testimony it is from which we know of this visit, denied that the meeting had 
anything to do with extermination camps. A more plausible interpretation of the contact is 
that Brack and Bouhler wanted to discuss the possibility of setting up a new, more secret 

94 Pohl, Ostgalizien, p. 115 and Sandkiihler, Endlosung in Ostgalizien, p. 159, both citing Dopheide an Linden, 
24.11.41; Linden an Dopheide, 10.12.41, DALO R-35-13-158, pp.1-3. 

95 Dressen/Riess, p. 170; Pacjenci i pracownicy szpitali psychiatrycznych w Polsce zamordowani przez okupanta 
hitierowskiego i los tych szpitali w latach 1939-1945, Warsaw, 1989, vol. 1, pp.90-3; Pohl, Ostgalizien, p. 115, 
citing Krankenstandsmeldungen Kulparkow an Abt Gesundheit/GG, DALO R-35-9-433 

96 Chelm and Cholm can be found interchangeably in many German sources. 

97 Friedlander, Origins of Nazi Genocide, pp. 274-283. 

98 Tadeusz Nasierowski, Zaglada osob z zaburzeniami psychicznymi w okupowanej Polsce. Poczatek 
ludobojstwa. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Neriton, 2008, pp. 149-153 

99 NMT, Case 1, Transcript, p. 7514 (testimony of Victor Brack) 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

euthanasia centre in the Lublin district after the suspension of T4 for German civilian 
psychiatric patients on August 24, 1941. 10 ° At this time, four centres were still operational - 
Hadamar, Bernburg, Sonnenstein and Hartheim - while Brandenburg and Grafeneck had 
closed in 1940. Three of the four centres were involved in the so-called Aktion 14 f 13, the 
killing of concentration camp inmates in the euthanasia centres, and would continue to be so 
involved for some considerable time to come. 101 Hadamar, with over 90 staff, was however 
not involved due to its geographical location and was thus at a total standstill. 102 The T4 
organisation was thus in something of a holding pattern, with one out of four facilities totally 
idle and the remaining three restricted to exterminating only concentration camp inmates. At 
the end of November 1941, a meeting of leading T4 personnel at Sonnenstein was assured 
that the August 'stop' did not mean the end of T4, which would continue. 103 

Thus, the interpretation offered by a number of historians, that the end of T4 enabled 
a virtually immediate transfer of the personnel to Lublin, must be rejected. In actual fact, at 
most two T4 personnel were sent to Lublin before December 1941, Josef Oberhauser and 
Christian Wirth, who made at least one return trip to Germany as well. But the contacts 
forged in September 1941 as well as the transfer of Oberhauser created a third source of 
inspiration for Globocnik alongside his knowledge of the mass extermination of Jews in the 
Soviet Union in general and the evident knowledge of the killing experiment using gas at 
Mogilev. Moreover, there is some evidence that Globocnik and his staff had themselves 
already experimented with gas many months beforehand. According to the postwar testimony 
of Ferdinand Hahnzog, the Commander of the Gendarmerie of the Lublin district from 
January 1940 to April 1942, he knew of a "primitive facility near Belzec hidden deep in the 
forest bordering on Galicia... consisting of a sealed shed into which Security Police and the 
SD from Zamosc pumped exhaust fumes from the vehicles used to bring the 'morituri' 

100 On the 'stop' see Ernst Klee, "Euthanasie" im NS-Staat: Die "Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens". 
Frankfurt: Fischer Verlag, 1983, p. 339; Hans-Walter Schmuhl, Rassenhygiene, Nationalsozialismus, 
Euthanasie. Von der Verhiitung zur Vernichtung „ lebensunwerten Lebens", 1890-1945, Gottingen 1987, p. 

101 On Aktion 14 f 13 see in general Walter Grode, Die „Sonderbehandlung 14fl3" in den Konzentrationslagern 
des Dritten Reiches. Ein Beitrag zur Dynamik faschistischer Vernichtung spolitik, Frankfurt an Main, 1987; 
Klee, Euthanasie, pp. 345-355. T4 doctors' commissions continued to visit concentration camps after the 'stop' 
on civilian T4, for example Dachau was visited in September 1941, cf. Mennecke's letter to his wife of 3.9.41, 
published in Chroust (ed), Mennecke, pp. 198-200 

102 Patricia Heberer, 'Eine Kontinuitat der Totungsoperationen. T4-Tater und die "Aktion Reinhard",' in: Musial 
(ed), Aktion Reinhardt, p.291 

103 Affidavit of Hans Bodo Gorgass, 23.2.1947, NO-3010 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

there." Hahnzog dated these experiments to the "spring of 1941, if not earlier, in the autumn 
of 1940". 104 

Let us recap: in July 1941, Himmler ordered Globocnik to establish SS and Police 
Strongpoints in the occupied Soviet Union while he also issued instructions to force through 
the Germanisation of the Lublin district. According to Hoss, Globocnik wanted to kill all the 
Jews other than workers for 'his' bases. A subordinate, Hanelt, was tasked with the planning 
of the Strongpoints and the 'Jew-cleansing'. Through the Strongpoints in the Soviet Union, 
Globocnik and his staff were aware of the escalating mass extermination of Jews and also of 
killing experiments, a connection confirmed by Georg Wippern. Men from Globocnik' s 
Security Police command had even participated in a high four figure massacre of Jews at 
Pinsk. Independently of these developments, the T4 organisation contacted Globocnik 
apparently with a view to restarting euthanasia in the Lublin district, and dispatched at least 
two T4 personnel for shorter or longer periods of time in the autumn of 1941. According to 
his Gendarmerie chief, Hahnzog, Globocnik's staff had also possibly already conducted 
killing experiments themselves involving gas from engine exhaust. 

On October 1, 1941, Globocnik sent the following letter to Himmler: 

Reichsfiihrer! In line with the implementation of your aims regarding the district, 
I passed on the detailed proposal to Obergruppenfuhrer Kriiger yesterday. SS- 
Obergruppenfuhrer Kriiger wished to present them immediately to you. He 
regarded this as urgent in the light of the emergency in which ethnic Germans 
now find themselves.This has taken such serious proportions that one can easily 
claim their situation in Polish times was better... Since the preparations for 
concentrating them are now complete, implementation could commence 
immediately.... In this connection, I would also like to point out that by bringing 
them together in concentrated settlements and by a radical and thorough forced 
removal of alien ethnic elements here in the Lublin district, we can achieve a 
substantial political pacification. Because both the political activism among the 
Poles and Ukrainians and the influence of the Jews, augmented by the influx of 
thousands of escaped POWs, have taken on a form here that here, too, simply in 
regard to implications for security policy, necessitates a rapid response... SS- 
Obergruppenfuhrer Kriiger has ordered me to request you, Reichsfiihrer, for the 
possibility of an audience with you in the near future. 105 

This audience was granted on October 13, when Globocnik and Kriiger met with 

Himmler for two hours. 106 Neither a protocol of the meeting nor the 'detailed proposal' sent 

on September 30 survived, but something of their content can be inferred from a letter from 

the Race and Resettlement Main Office representative in the Lublin district, SS- 

104 Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, pp. 205-6 

105 Globocnik an Himmler, 1.10.1941, NARA-BDC SS-OA Odilo Globocnik 

106 Dienstkalender, p.233 (13.10.1941) 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

Hauptsturmfiihrer Miiller, two days after the Himmler-Kriiger-Globocnik meeting, in which 
Miiller wrote that Globocnik saw "the gradual cleansing of the entire Generalgouvernement 
of Jews and Poles as necessary in order to secure the eastern territories... He is full of 
excellent and far-reaching plans on this. The only thing that prevents him from realising them 
is the limited power of his present position". 107 

On October 17, 1941, Hans Frank visited Lublin together with Ernst Bopple, 
undersecretary of state in the GG administration, and held a meeting with Globocnik, the 
district governor, Ernst Zorner, and his administrative chief Wilhelm Engler. The third item 
on the agenda was the "Jewish Question". The meeting decided that "all Jews, with the 
exception of indispensable craftsmen and the like, are to be evacuated from Lublin. Initially, 
1,000 Jews will be transferred across the Bug River. Responsibility for this is placed in the 
hands of the SSPF. The Stadthauptmann will select the Jews to be evacuated." 108 Two weeks 
later, construction work began on Belzec. 109 

The chain of documents cited above, covering the period from 1 to 17 October 1941, 
has been both overinterpreted (by conventional historians) and underinterpreted (by 
Mattogno). Let us deal first with the overinterpretations. A number of historians, foremost 
among them Bogdan Musial, followed closely by Christopher Browning, as well as writers 
such as Jules Schelvis, have taken the sequence of documents and meetings to mean that a 
decision had been taken to exterminate all Jews of the Generalgouvernement in October 
1941. Musial in particular has argued that this decision was taken separately to a more 
general decision to enact a Europe-wide Final Solution 110 , while others, such as Browning, 
see the decision-making in Poland as part of the crystallisation of a "Hitler intent" emerging 
in October 1941, which may or may not be distinct from a Hitler order. 111 As we have seen in 
Chapter 2, the overall decision making process was substantially more complex and 
evolutionary than is often assumed by those who think in terms of a simple Hitler order. 

107 SS-Hstuf Helmut Miiller, Bericht iiber die Verhaltnisse in Lublin, 15.10.1941, NARA-BDC SS-OA Odilo 
Globocnik, also NO-5875 

108 Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, p. 196, quoting from an unpublished portion of the Diensttagebuch 

109 Vernehmung Stanislaw Kozak, 14.10.1945, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd. 6, pp.1129-30 

110 Musial, 'The Origins of 'Operation Reinhard',' and'Urspriinge der „Aktion Reinhardt".' 

111 Browning, Origins, pp. 258-265, is the definitive statement of an argument centred around the interpretation 
of Eichmann's postwar testimonies of a visit to Lublin in which Eichmann claimed to have encountered a police 
captain, obviously Christian Wirth, experimenting with engine exhaust gas chambers. The dating of this visit 
was usually given by Eichmann as the autumn of 1941, but on at least one occasion he dated the visit and the 
'sequence' of visits to key sites to the winter. As with Hoss, the fact that Eichmann often portrayed himself as a 
receiver rather than an initiator of murderous orders means that his datings cannot be trusted, as an earlier Hitler 
order (received from Heydrich) and earlier visit would relieve him of moral and historical responsibility for 
initiatives in the autumn of 1941. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

The Musial-Browning interpretation, however, is contested by among other historians, 
Christian Gerlach, Jacek Mlynarczyk, Dieter Pohl and Peter Longerich. 112 In our view, it is 
untenable for the following reasons. Firstly, Globocnik's proposal of October 1 as well as the 
Lublin meeting of October 17 refer explicitly only to the Lublin district. Thus it is more 
plausible to see the construction of Belzec in relation to a limited project to reduce the Jewish 
population of the Lublin district in conjunction with the Germanisation of the district. Indeed, 
the October 17 meeting refers only to the evacuation of the Jews of Lublin city, a town which 
Himmler had ordered to be rapidly Germanised in July 1941. Secondly, the plans discussed 
on October 17 were broached within a very tight circle consisting primarily of officials from 
the Lublin district. As we will see shortly, other officials in the GG administration were not 
initiated until December 1941. Thirdly, contrary to Musial's speculation 113 , the construction 
of Belzec was incompatible with a plan to exterminate all Jews in the Generalgouvernement 
even over a two or three year period. As we will see later on, Belzec was closed at the end of 
1942 when the available mass grave space overflowed after 434,000 victims. Thirdly, there 
was an obvious shortage of manpower in the autumn of 1941, as the T4 personnel had not yet 
arrived and many of Globocnik's men were currently posted in the Soviet Union and caught 
up in the Strongpoints project. 114 This explains why Globocnik wanted to start small by 
reducing the Jewish population of Lublin city, in contrast to the plans enacted in the 
Warthegau at the same time to reduce the entire Jewish population of the Warthegau by 
100,000. 115 Koppe, unlike Globocnik, disposed of a ready-made killing squad, the 
Sonderkommando Lange. 116 In both cases, however, permission from Hitler was not needed 
as both were local solutions to specific problems arising from Germanisation and resettlement 
projects. All that needed to be done was to coordinate between the local SS and civil 

Mattogno, on the other hand, underinterprets this decision-making sequence. Indeed, 
he is apparently totally unaware of two of the four crucial sources involved, Globocnik's 

112 Gerlach, Krieg Ernahrung Volkermord, esp. pp. 269-272; Pohl, 'Die "Aktion Reinhard" im Lichte der 
Historiographie' and 'Die Stellung des Distrikts Lublin in der "Endlosung der Judenfrage"; Mlynarczyk, 
'Mordinitiativen von unten'; Longerich, Holocaust, pp.524 note 31 and 537-8 note 100 

113 Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, p. 207-8. 

114 For example, the officer tasked with constructing Sobobor in early 1942, SS-Obersturmfuhrer Richard 
Thomalla, was still assigned to the Strongpoint at Kiev in late December 1941. See Beforderungsvorschlag SS- 
Ostuf (S) Richard Thomalla, 20.12.41, gez. Globocnik, NARA-BDC SS-OA Richard Thomalla. 

115 Peter Klein has argued that Greiser began to think in terms of extermination in theWarthegau already in July 
1941. Although his argument is convincing on the gestation of genocidal intent, the preponderance of evidence 
dates the establishment of the killing site to October 1941. See Klein, 'Die Rolle der Vernichtungslager 
Kulmhof (Chelmno), Belzec und Auschwitz-Birkenau'; also Klein, Gettoverwaltung Litzmannstadt, for an 
elaboration of his thesis. 

116 For developments in the Warthegau, see Chapter 2. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

letter of October 1 and the Lublin meeting of October 17. It is in fact, difficult to see how he 
could be aware of these sources as he doesn't cite from any literature that discusses them. He 
does, however, pick up on the October 13 meeting between Himmler, Kriiger and Globocnik 
and turns it into a strawman. Ignoring all other interpretations, he cites only Jules Schelvis 
claiming that "it is certain that on 13 October, Hitler ordered the Belzec extermination camp 
built, and probably the one at Sobibor as well." 117 Having cast 'official historiography' in 
bas-relief by quoting only Schelvis, he then proceeds to try and set up as many 
"contradictions" as he can hallucinate. This leads him to contrast the date of 13 October 1941 
with the Wetzel letter of 25 October 1941 and produce a particularly obnoxious strawman 
already dealt with in Chapter 2 118 , and to contrast the 13 October meeting with Globocnik's 
task of establishing the Strongpoints. He asks plaintively, "how can we explain that Himmler 
made Globocnik commissioner for the installation of SS and police agencies in the new 
eastern territories on 17 July 1941 and then, on 13 October of the same year, asked him to 
build an extermination camp while still retaining his previous function?" 119 Well, that might 
be because Himmler also ordered Globocnik to accelerate Germanisation at the same time as 
he ordered the Strongpoints project, and because the decision-making in October 1941 
leading up to the construction of Belzec involved a limited project relating to Germanisation, 
not a general extermination order across the whole of Poland. There is nothing contradictory 
or incompatible about the same individual being given multiple tasks. 

The very fact that Globocnik continued to be closely involved in the Strongpoints 
project in the autumn of 1941 is a further argument against the Musial-Browning general- 
extermination-order interpretation. Shortly after the Lublin meeting of October 17, Globocnik 
in fact travelled to Berlin to meet with the chief of RuSHA, SS-Gruppenfuhrer Hofmann. 120 
He convened a meeting of Strongpoint directors on November 4 121 , and on November 20, 
visited Riga. 122 But it was at precisely this time that Globocnik's grandiose ambitions in the 
occupied Soviet Union came unstuck. His organisation had failed to stake out more than a 
handful of Strongpoints, and was coming into increasing conflict with Pohl and Kammler's 

117 MGK, Sobibor, p. 243, citing from Schelvis, Vernichtungslager Sobibor (1998), p.33ff 

118 Ibid., p.275 

119 Ibid., p.243 

120 SSPF Lublin an Chef des Rasse- und Siedlungs-Hauptamt, SS Gruf. Hoffmann, Berlin SW 68, Ledemanstr. 
23/24, 17.10.41, GPD 413 (31.10.41), item 36, PRO HW16/32 

121 SS-Brigaf. Globocnik an Aussenstellen Nord, Riga, Ostuf M 
Ostuf Thomalla, 29.10.41, GPD 435 (10.11.41), item 13, PRO HW 16/32 

122 SSPF Lublin an HSSPF ]N 
1, item 11), PRO HW 16/32 

121 SS-Brigaf. Globocnik an Aussenstellen Nord, Riga, Ostuf Michalsen, Mitte, Minsk, Stubaf Dolp, Siid, Kiew, 

122 SSPF Lublin an HSSPF Nord, z.Hd SS Ogruf Jeckeln und SS Ostuf, Riga, 19.11.41 (GPD 529, 29.12.41,. no 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

construction organisation. 123 The result was that at the start of March 1942, Globocnik was 
relieved of all remaining responsibilities related to the Strongpoints, which henceforth would 
be the task of Pohl's newly established WVHA. 124 

It apparently escapes Mattogno's notice that Globocnik stopped being the 
Plenipotentiary for Strongpoints. Indeed, Mattogno gleefully seizes on an apparent typo in the 
German Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust and block-quotes this source saying that Himmler 
only appointed Globocnik in July 1942. 125 While this is merely childish obfuscation, it pales 
into insignificance in comparison with Mattogno invoking Globocnik' s responsibility for the 
Strongpoints while trying to interpret a document from after March 1, 1942. 126 As Globocnik 
had been relieved of this tasking by the time in question, Mattogno's interpretation is a total 
anachronism, and thus fundamentally bogus. This howler is only compounded by the fact that 
Mattogno could easily have read about the handover of responsibility for the Strongpoints in 
one of his more frequently cited secondary sources. 127 This means that, yet again, one is 
forced to ask oneself whether Mattogno is just that bad at reading or if he really is that 

The legacy of the Strongpoints project can be seen very clearly in the formation of 
Globocnik' s auxiliary force, the so-called Trawnikis, recruited in 1941 largely from Soviet 
prisoners of war of ethnic German and Ukrainian origin. The camp at Trawniki began life as 
an internment camp for a variety of refugees displaced in the first weeks of 'Barbarossa' - the 
camp doctor was a Pole liberated from an NKVD jail in Lwow - as well as suspects under 
arrest, and held 676 internees in mid-July, of whom 141 were Ukrainians. 128 By September 
1941, the camp had been cleared of suspects and evolved into a training centre for auxiliary 
guards. The identity cards of the Trawnikis recruited in the winter of 1941/2 stated that they 
were "Guards of the Plenipotentiary of the Reichsfiihrer-SS and Chief of German Police - 
Chief of Order Police - for the Establishment of the SS and Police Strongpoints in the New 
Eastern Space". 129 On October 27, 1941, SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Karl Streibel was named the 
commandant of Trawniki. 130 Streibel had served in a similar role in 1940, commanding the 

123 Aktenvermerk Pohl, 4.11.41, BA NS3/1367, pp.60-2; Schulte, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung, pp.272-8. 

124 Schulte, 'Vom Arbeits- zum Vernichtungslager', p. 46 

125 MGK, Sobibor, p.243 

126 MGK, Sobibor, p. 297. On the Reuter file memo, see section 'Mattogno's 'Resettlement' Shell Game' below. 

127 Schulte, 'Vom Arbeits- zum Vernichtungslager', p. 46 

128 Bericht iiber die Besichtigung des Auffanglagers in Trawniki, 14.7.1941, published in Blumental (ed), 
Obozy, pp.258-9. 

129 "Wachmannschaften des Beauftragten des Reichsfuhrers-SS und Chefs der Deutschen Polizei - Chef der 
Ordnungspolizei - fur die Errichtung der SS- und Polizeistutzpunkte im neuen Ostraum". Cf. Personalbogen Nr 
319 (Alexander Suban), GARF 7021-148-421, pp.29-31. 

130 SSPF Lublin, Empfehlung fur die Beforderung von Karl Streibel, 6.3.1942, BDC SS-OA Karl Streibel. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

training battalion of the Lublin Selbstschutz (Self-Defense) militia recruited from ethnic 
Germans in the Generalgouvernement and thereafter the training battalion of the 
Sonderdienst, a police force nominally subordinated to the civil authorities. 131 

Although their recruitment was initiated in the context of the Strongpoints project, no 
Trawnikis were in fact ever sent to the Strongpoints in the Ostland or Ukraine. Instead, by 
October 1941, Globocnik had actually secured a promise from Friedrich Jeckeln, HSSPF 
Ostland, to supply the Lublin district with a battalion of the Latvian Schutzmannschaft for 
guard duties, although the unit was seemingly never dispatched. 132 Later in 1942, Schuma 
battalions would indeed be stationed in the Generalgouvernement, participating in the 
Warsaw ghetto action as well as guarding Majdanek. In all probability, the Latvian Schuma 
battalion was intended to beef up the Majdanek guard force, and a Lithuanian battalion was 
substituted in 1942. 133 Trawnikis were also assigned to Majdanek from the late autumn of 
1941, in part so that come could recover from the privations of German captivity in the 
camps for Soviet POWs. 134 

Several deployments of especial significance are registered in the personnel files as 
taking place in the autumn and early winter of 1941. The first was the assignment of a 
number of Trawnikis on November 5, 1941 to "SSPF Warschau", who were rapidly sent 
onwards to the nascent forced labour camp at Treblinka I. 135 It is striking that this date 
coincided with correspondence between SSPF Warschau and Kammler's organisation 
regarding the construction of the camp. 136 The establishment of the camp was announced in 
the district gazette on November 15, and it began to receive Jewish prisoners from Warsaw in 
January 1942. 137 The suggestive element to the assignment of the Trawnikis to Treblinka I is 
that they were being deployed outside of Globocnik' s direct sphere of responsibility, and 
assigned to a variety of guard duties in the GG from a very early stage. 138 More significant 

131 Cf. Peter R. Black, 'Rehearsal for Reinhardt? Odilo Globocnik and the Lublin Selbstschutz', Central 
European History, vol. 25, No. 2, 1992, 204-226, as well as Peter Black, 'Indigenous Collaboration in the 
Government General: The Case of the Sonderdienst' in Pieter Judson and Marsha Rozenblit (eds), Constructing 
Nationalities in East Central Europe, New York: Berghahn, 2005, pp. 243-66. 

132 SSPF Lublin an HSSPF Ostland, Riga, 13.10.1941, GPD 399, item 24, PRO HW 16/32. 

133 The 2 n Lithuanian Schuma Battalion was assigned to the camp as of July 1, 1942: Starkenachweisung der 
Schutzmannschaft Stand vom 1. Mi 1942., BA R 19/266. It was replaced in March 1943 by the 252 nd 
Lithuanian Schuma Battalion; cf. Aleksander Lasik, 'Struktura organizacyjna oraz obsada osobowa stanowisk 
kierowniczych w obozie koncentracyjnym na Majdanku w latach 1941-1944', Zeszyty Majdanka, 2003, t. 
XXII, p.148; Hilberg, Vernichtung, Bd 2, p.965 n.136. 

134 Personalbogen Nr 941 (Samuel Prishtsch), AIPN CA 903/1, p.4; Black, 'Footsoldiers', p. 22. 

135 Personalbogen Nr 137 (Adolf Statkewitsch), GARF 7021-148-421, pp.49-50. 

136 Anruf SS-Standartenfuhrer Schnabel, SSPF Warschau, 31.10.1041; H.H.u.B., D.Ch.d.A.II.B, Betr.: 
Arbeitserziehungslager in Treblinka, 5.11.1941, BA DH ZB6768. A.l, pp.380-1 

137 Black, 'Footsoldiers of the Final Solution', p. 54 n.45; Czerniakow, Warsaw Diary, p. 316 (17.1.1942). 

138 Rich, 'Footsoldiers of Reinhard', p. 693, overinterprets this assignment somewhat. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

for the evolution of the death camps, however, was the deployment of Trawnikis to Belzec on 
November 18 and 25, 1941. Some of the men returned to Trawniki at the start of 
December. 139 

An especially intriguing early assignment is noted in the personnel file of Nikolaus 
Pawlij, who was detached to the "Wasserbauwirtschaftsamt Chelm" from November 20 to 
December 9, 1941. 14 ° This land reclamation office was later responsible for the 
administration of numerous forced labour camps girdling Sobibor in Chelm county. But there 
are no indications from the Trawniki personnel files that Trawnikis were ever assigned as 
guards to these camps, and there is no reason why an SS-trained auxiliary would be given 
away to a civilian agency. Pawlij 's assignment in fact converges with the eyewitness 
statement of Jan Piwonski that the SS scouted and surveyed the site of the future camp at 
Sobibor in late 1941. Pawlij could well have been assigned as an escort to the SS officers 
surveying the district for a suitable site for a camp. 141 The commander of the Gendarmerie of 
the Lublin district, Major Ferdinand Hahnzog, similarly testified after the war that in 
November 1941 he met with Globocnik and an unnamed Obersturmfuhrer who was tasked 
with the construction of a camp at Sobibor, and would require assistance from the 
Gendarmerie at Wlodawa. 142 

Such sources are indicative of preparations towards the future, but did not yet suggest 
that a green light to begin Aktion Reinhard had been given. On the other hand, it cannot be 
ruled out, and is in fact probable, that Globocnik presented Himmler with plans for a wide- 
ranging extermination program in October 1941, but was told only to begin preparations, and 

139 Black, 'Footsoldiers of the Final Solution', p. 54 n.45. 

140 Personalbogen Nr 727 (Nikolaus Pawlij), ASBU Stalino 6442-38260, pp.l32-R. 

141 Vernehmungsprotokoll Jan Piwonski, 29.4.1975, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 673/41, Bd 2, p.441. 

142 Vernehmungsprotokoll Ferdinand Hahnzog, 31.1.1963, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 914/63, Bd.l, pp.1427-8. 
Construction at Sobibor began in early 1942, with the first work supervised by a civilian official, Baurat Moser, 
according to at least two witnesses. Cf. Vernehmung Hans-Heinz Schiitt, 22.11.1962, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 
251/59, Bd. 8, pp. 1648-9; Musial, Zivilverwaltung, p. 217, citing Vern. B. Falkenberg, 16.7.1965, OKL Ds 
12/67, Bl.19-21 and Urteil gegen A. Muller u.a., 29.10.1964, StA Hannover 2 Ks 4/63, B1.20 , also Justiz und 
NS-Verbrechen Bd 20, Lfd Nr 582. From March to April 1942, work was taken over by SS-Obersturmfuhrer 
Richard Thomalla, who had spent the last months of 1941 building up a Strongpoint in Kiev. The first SS 
personnel from T4 arrived at the start of April, including the designated commandant, Hauptmann der 
Schutzpolizei Franz Stangl. Cf. Vernehmung Franz Stangl, 29.4.1969, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 230/59, Bd. 12, 
p. 4464. According to Jakov Engelhardt, in early 1942, twelve Trawnikis arrived at Sobibor to find the camp 
already wired off and work underway on the "bathhouse". A corridor of brush was erected, the infamous 'tube' 
or Schlauch, and behind the "bathhouse", a mass grave was dug. A test gassing was carried out in the "bath 
house" using an engine. Five Germans were present, including a man he identified in 1975 as a captain who 
"always wore civilian clothes" and an Oberscharfiihrer, along with two men in work clothes who were 
constructing the gas chamber. Engelhardt returned to Trawniki, after his squad of 12 men was relieved by a 
much larger detachment of 40 auxiliaries under the command of an ethnic German. Cf. Protokol doprosa, Yakov 
Genrikovich Engel'gard, 21.3.1961, ASBU Kiev 66437-14-31, pp.27-28a; Protokoll einer Zeugenvemehmung 
Jakow Genrikowitsch Engelhardt, 21.8.1975, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 673/41, Bd.3, pp.466-512. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

to await further orders. In October and November 1941, Himmler was busy securing his 
political flanks, asserting his authority over the 'Jewish Question' to rivals in the Berlin 
bureaucracy such as the State Secretary of the Interior Ministry, Dr. Stuckart 143 , while the 
civil administration in the Generalgouvernement also needed to be initiated. The meeting of 
October 17, 1941 in Lublin, at which the notion of deporting an initial 1000 Jews from Lublin 
"over the Bug" is especially instructive in this regard. Frank and his officials most probably 
understood this phrasing to mean that the deported Jews would be killed, but it is also 
probable that Globocnik had not informed his civilian counterparts of his precise plans; 
Frank's remarks on December 16, 1941, which we discuss below 144 , make it unlikely that he 
had been told by anyone up to that date about gas chambers as the intended means, only that 
the Jews would be destroyed. 

Hitler's announcement of December 12, 1941 to the Reichs- and Gauleiter in Berlin 
was followed by a flurry of meetings between Himmler, Hitler and other leading Nazis which 
confirm that it was not until this moment that the light finally turned green. On December 14, 
1941, Himmler met with Victor Brack, director of T4, and discussed what his appointments 
diary records as "euthanasia". 145 It is striking that only after this meeting did T4 personnel 
begin to arrive in Lublin in larger numbers, in all probability after December 22 when the 
construction of the basic facilities was complete. SS-Scharfiihrer Erich Fuchs arrived at 
Belzec together with eight to ten other men at this time, and found a few SS already 
present. 146 There were now several officers and senior NCOs present on-site, including 
Christian Wirth and Gottfried Schwarz, and a command structure began to take shape. In this 
phase, from late December 1941 to mid-March 1942, it seems that while the T4 men were 
waiting for the deportations to begin, they experimented with a variety of killing methods. 147 

Brack himself led a contingent of T4 men on a separate assignment beginning in 
January 1942, the mysterious 'Osteinsatz' deployment of euthanasia doctors, nurses and 
assistants to Minsk and Smolensk. 148 Discussed in extremely vague terms by eyewitnesses 
interrogated either in the context of euthanasia or Aktion Reinhard investigations after the 
war, there is a strong suspicion that the T4 personnel may have been used for the "mercy 
killing" of wounded German soldiers. The overwhelming majority of the Osteinsatz cadres 
came from the idle T4 institute at Hadamar, which gave up 40 out of 90 personnel, with far 

143 Cf. Dienstkalender, pp.273-4 (24.11.1941): "Jewish Question belongs to me." 

144 See section 'Extermination and Labour' below. 

145 Dienstkalender, p.290 (14.12.41). 

146 Vernehmungsprotokoll Erich Fuchs, 2.4.1963, BAL 162/208 AR-Z 251/59, Bd. 9, pp.1782-1783. 

147 See Chapters 4 and 5. 

148 On the Osteinsatz, see Heberer, 'Kontinuitat der Totungsoperationen', p.291ff. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

fewer assigned from the other institutes still engaged in carrying out Aktion 14 f 13. 149 After 
the return of the Osteinsatz from Minsk in April 1942, a number of men were reassigned to 
Aktion Reinhard, but only a fraction of the 92 T4 men involved in Aktion Reinhard had been 
sent to the Soviet Union in January 1942. 150 The more striking point is the initially relatively 
small size of the T4 contingent assigned to Belzec and its progressive reinforcement in the 
spring of 1942 after the operation was expanded. As Victor Brack later wrote to Himmler on 
June 23, 1942, "in accordance with my orders from Reichsleiter Bouhler, I have long ago put 
at Brigadefiihrer Globocnik's disposal part of my manpower to aid him in carrying out his 
special mission (Sonderauftrag). Upon his renewed request, I have now transferred to him 
additional personnel." 151 

The evidence examined so far points to the interpretation that Belzec, soon to be 
joined by Sobibor, were intended to carry out what was still a relatively limited killing 
program. Indeed, Adolf Eichmann later testified that Globocnik had at first been authorised to 
kill around 100,000 people, and then secured a further authorisation to murder another 150 to 
250,000 from Heydrich. 152 Josef Oberhauser similarly testified that at first: 153 

only Jews unfit for work from various ghettos were to be liquidated. There was 
not yet any talk of a grand-scale extermination action. I learned of the plan to 
systematically exterminate the Jews when Brack went to Globocnik in Lublin in 
April or May 1942 and told him that the former members of Aktion T4 would be 
placed at his disposal for the carrying out of the extermination of the Jews 

Belzec and Sobibor were constructed to test the feasibility of mass extermination; 

indeed Robin O'Neil has rightly called Belzec a "stepping stone" or "prototype" for the Final 

Solution. 154 Until June 1942, only Jews from the Galicia and Lublin districts were deported to 

Belzec and Sobibor, while the Warsaw, Radom and Cracow districts remained initially 

unaffected, severely limiting the geographical scope of the operation within the 

Generalgouvernement. Moreover, by the start of 1942, the Lublin district was the intended 

destination for non-Polish Jews. Although conceived as a local solution to the 'Jewish 

Question' in the Generalgouvernement, Aktion Reinhard was rapidly integrated into the pan- 

149 This observation refutes the silly argument in MGK, Sobibor, pp. 272-3 about a supposed 'contradiction' 
between the Osteinsatz and the impending transfer of an initially small number of personnel to Lublin. 

150 Osteinsatz veterans later sent to the Aktion Reinhard camps include Otto Stadie, Werner Dubois, Heinrich 
Gley, Arthur Matthes, Franz Hodl, Karl Schluch, Heinrich Unverhau, Ernst Zierke and Willy Grossman. 


Brack an Himmler, 23.6.1942, BA NS 19/1583, p. 16, also NO-205; our emphases. 
Longerich, Holocaust, p. 331. 

153 Pohl, Judenpolitik, pp. 125-6, citing Vernehmung. Oberhauser, 10.11.1964, Oberhauser Bd. XV, Bl. 2918-20 
(StA Miinchen 1 110 Ks 3/64); a similar description of Brack's visit is in Vernehmung Josef Oberhauser, 
14.12.1962, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd. 9, p.l681ff, also excerpted in Klee, The Good Old Days, p.229. 

154 Robin O'Neil, Belzec: Stepping Stone to Genocide: Hitler's Answer to the Jewish Question (2004): . 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

European Final Solution. The Jews of Vienna, Prague and Bratislava suffered the agonies of a 
gassing death ahead of the Jews of Warsaw and Cracow. 

To understand the context in which the decision to deport Jews from Germany, 
Austria, the Protectorate and Slovakia to the Lublin district was taken, we must rewind our 
steps back to the late summer of 1941. The RSHA had begun drafting plans for a 'complete 
solution' to the 'Jewish Question' in Europe after Heydrich secured Goring's signature on the 
infamous authorisation letter of July 31, 1941. 155 Within Eichmann's office, Friedrich Suhr 
became the "referent for the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, in particular abroad" in 
July 1941, according to a notation on his personnel file. 156 In early August, statistics were 
compiled of the numbers of Jews inhabiting each country worldwide. 157 In the meantime, 
pressure grew within Germany from individual Gauleiter, not least Josef Goebbels in Berlin, 
to deport German Jews. 158 To their consternation, the Gauleiter found that Hitler was as yet 
unwilling to give the green light. Nonetheless, Himmler began to sound out his eastern 
HSSPF to investigate the possibility of accommodating Jews from the Reich in occupied 
Poland. On September 2, 1941, he met with Kriiger, the HSSPF of the Generalgouvernement, 
to discuss the "Jewish Question - resettlement out of the Reich." Two days later, he likewise 
met with Wilhelm Koppe, the HSSPF of the Warthegau, and probably discussed the 
feasibility of deporting Reich Jews to the Lodz ghetto. 159 But whereas the deportations to 
Lodz were ordered a few weeks later and carried out in the autumn of 1941, no deportations 
to the GG from the Reich took place. One source indicates that Himmler approached Hans 
Frank and used the excuse of RAF bombing to appeal to him to take in German Jews. A plan 
to deport two transports of Jews from Hamburg in early October was rejected by Frank. 160 

The idea of Lublin as a destination for non-Polish Jews resurfaced the same month, 
when on October 20, Himmler met with the Slovak leadership - Tiso, Tuka and Mach - and 
broached the subject of Slovakia's Jews. The Slovak leaders became the first government to 
agree with Nazi Germany to hand over the Jews of their country. 161 According to the later 

155 Goring an Heydrich, 31.7.1941, 710-PS, IMT XXVI, pp.266-7. 

156 NARA-BDC SS-OA Friedrich Suhr; cf. Aly, Endlosung, pp.306-7. 

157 Anzahl der Juden absolut und im Verhaltnis zur Gesamtbevblkerung in den einzelnen Landern und nach 
Erdteilen, 7.8.1941, AIPN CA 362/218, pp.5-10. 

158 For a recent examination of the background to this phase, see Wolf Gruner, 'Von der Kollektivausweisung 
zur Deportation der Juden aus Deutschland (1938-1943). Neue Perspektiven und Dokumente', Beitrdge zur 
Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus 20, 2004, pp. 21-62, This phase is also well covered in Browning, Origins, 
p.314ff as well as Witte, 'Two Decisions'. 

159 Dienstkalender, pp.200-203 (2.9.1941), p.205 (4.9.1941). 

160 Browning, Origins, p. 326. 

161 Dienstkalender, p. 241 (20.10.1941). In July 1941, Slovak officials had inspected the Organisation Schmelt 
forced labour camp complex in Upper East Silesia, and used their impressions to establish a few forced labour 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

account of Slovak Interior Minister Mach, Himmler had said "that they will use our Jews." It 
is entirely unclear from the available sources where Himmler at this time thought Slovak 
Jews could be accommodated or what their fate would be. 162 As no discussions ensued at this 
time with any regional authorities, either SS or civilian, regarding the reception of deportees 
from Slovakia, the agreement was likely simply a napkin-deal to be tucked away him 
Himmler' s back pocket as the Final Solution took shape. 

In the autumn of 1941, as deportation trains actually left the Reich for Riga, Kaunas, 
Minsk and Lodz, Himmler sought out other possible destinations, including Mogilev and 
Borisov in Belorussia. A visit to Mogilev on October 23 took place against the backdrop of 
the drive on Moscow and the expectation that Mogilev would soon be handed over from 
military to civil administration. 163 The stalling of Operation 'Taifun' and the defeat before 
Moscow dashed these plans entirely. 

Another possible solution suggested itself in the shape of the Highway IV 
(Durchgangsstrasse IV, DG IV) construction project. DG IV was one of several major road 
arteries slated for construction by the Organisation Todt and ran all the way from Galicia 
through the Ukraine. In Galicia, the SS swiftly reconnoitred possible camp sites for road 
construction purposes 164 , and began to establish a network of forced labour camps for 
Galician Jews by the autumn of 1941. 165 Himmler also interested himself in assisting the 
construction of an 'SS road' along the Black Sea in the first weeks of 1942, discussing the 
matter with the commander in chief of 6 th Army, Field Marshal von Reichenau, and involving 
the HSSPF Ukraine, Priitzmann, in the plan. 166 Although the SS established a network of 

camps in Slovakia, which survived the 1942 deportations. See Deutsche Gesandschaft Pressburg an 
Auswartigen Amt Berlin, Abteilung Protokoll, 2.7.1941, T/1075; Bericht iiber die Besichtigung der 
oberschlesischen Judenlager, 12.7.1941, NARA T 175/584/80-2. 

162 Schwindt, Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager Majdanek, p. 79, argues that the Lublin district was 
already foreseen in October 1941, but this is not substantiated. On Nazi-Slovak relations in general see Tatjana 
Tonsmeyer: Das Dritte Reich und die Slowakei 1939 - 1945. Politischer Alltag zwischen Kooperation und 
Eigensinn. Paderbom: Schoningh, 2003. 

163 339. Inf.Div. la, Divisionsbefehl Nr, 85, 16.10.41, NARA T315/2116/140; for the context see Christian 
Gerlach, 'Failure of Plans for an SS Extermination Camp im Mogilew', HGS 11, 1997, pp. 60-78. 

164 Pol.Rgt. Galizien la, Judische Zwangsarbeitslager, 14.8.1941, RGVA 1323-2-292b, p.158. 

165 On the DG IV camps in Galicia, see Hermann Kaienburg, 'Jiidische Arbeitslager an der 'Strasse der SS',' 
1999, 1/1996, pp.13-39; Sandkuhler, Endlosung in Galizien, pp. 191-193; Pohl, Ostgalizien, p.348ff. Globocnik 
men from SSPF Lublin provided the supervisory cadres, most being reassigned from the staff of a camp in Biala 
Podlaska closed in the summer of 1941. Sandkuhler, Endlosung in Ostgalizien, p.495 n. 98. 

166 Dienstkalender, p. 314 (11.1.42); for telexes to Priitzmann see Summary of Police Decodes for 16.12.1941- 
15.1.1942, p. 11, PRO HW16/6; cf. Schulte, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung, p.360. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

forced labour camps for Jews along the stretch of DG IV in Ukraine, the only transfers of 
Jewish slave labourers came from Transnistria. 167 

The notion of sending the Jews "road building to the east" was thus in the air when 
Heydrich chaired the Wannsee conference and spelled out the fate of the able bodied Jews. 168 
But in reality, Heydrich and the RSHA planners in Eichmann's IV B 4 office were entirely 
uncertain as to where any Jews could be deported at the time of Wannsee (January 20, 1942) 
or in the weeks immediately following the conference. On January 31, 1942, Eichmann 
informed the Gestapo stations in the Reich that the deportations of the previous autumn 
represented the start of the Final Solution and that "new reception possibilities" were being 
worked out for the next phase. 169 Not until March 6, 1942, was Eichmann able to convene a 
meeting of the Judenreferenten to discuss implementation of the next wave of deportations 
from the Reich. 170 Although the Foreign Office had signalled to the Slovak government on 
February 16, 1942 that Nazi Germany was ready to accept 20,000 Slovak Jews as workers, 
the paper trail is likewise unclear until March as to where they would in fact be sent. 171 

At Wannsee, Frank's state secretary Josef Biihler had urged that the Final Solution be 
started in the Generalgouvernement. 172 By the start of March, the action had not yet begun, 
and it was also clear that the GG would have to accommodate Jews from the Reich and 
Slovakia. Biihler informed the governor of the Lublin district, Zorner, at the start of March 
1942 that "in the context of the total solution of the Jewish problem in the European space the 
establishment of a transit camp for Jews evacuated out of certain parts of the Reich had 
become necessary." and that Zorner should expect that "in the course of the next month a 
total of 14,000 Jews" would be "temporarily" accommodated in the Lublin district. Although 
sent on March 3, the letter was not registered by Zorner' s office until March 6, and was not 
passed on to the BuF desk in charge of supervising resettlements until March 9. 173 

Far from belonging to a well-thought out plan, the initial phase of deportations thus 
bore all the hallmarks of a last-minute improvisation. Eichmann had been in Minsk on March 
2 and 3 to organise the resumption of the deportations that had been broken off by the 

167 On the DG IV camps in Ukraine see Andrej Angrick, 'Annihilation and Labor: Jews and Thoroughfare IV in 
Central Ukraine' in Ray Brandon and Wendy Lower (eds), The Shoah in Ukraine. Indianapolis: Indiana 
University Press, 2006; Lower, Nazi Empire-Building, pp. 143-50. 

168 Wannsee-Protokoll, 20.1.1942, NG-2586-G. 

169 RSHA IV B 4, Evakuierung von Juden, 31.1.1942, 1063-PS. 

170 Bericht iiber die am 6. Marz 1942 im RSHA - Amt IV B 4 - stattgefundene Besprechung, 9.3.1942, T/119, 
also in Hans G. Adler, Die Verheimlichte Wahrheit Theresienstadter Dokumente, Tubingen, 1958, pp. 9-10. 

171 Luther an Deutsche Gesandtschaft Pressburg, 16.2.1942, T/1078, simply refers to "bringing them to the 

172 Wannsee-Protokoll, 20.1.1942, NG-2586-G. 

173 Cited in Pohl, Judenpolitik, p. 107 and Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, p. 223. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

transport crisis of the winter of 1941/2 174 , and then promptly convened a meeting with the 
Judenberater of Western Europe to begin planning their deportations. 175 From the perspective 
of the RSHA, the priority was to get the Jews out of the Reich, and worry later about their 
fate. The quotas established in March - 55,000 for Germany, 18,000 for Vienna and 20,000 
for Prague - would not in fact eliminate all Jews from the Reich, but represented the next 
stage in what would be a lengthy process. Securing trains was a major concern: at the 
meeting of March 6 concerning deportations from the Reich, the Judenreferenten were told 
that "transports could not be scheduled precisely" and that "only empty Russian trains", 
meaning trains carrying Ostarbeiter to Germany, were available, that were to be "run back 
into the Generalgouvernement." 176 

By the start of March 1942, Eichmann and his men were clear that at least some of the 
Jews of Slovakia would be deported to Auschwitz and Majdanek, but it is striking that in the 
months that followed, the majority were not, while no transports of Jews from the Reich 
proper were sent to Auschwitz in the first half of 1942, and virtually none sent directly to 
Majdanek. 177 The RSHA's plans did not overlap with those of the nascent WVHA 178 
perfectly. From the perspective of the RSHA, the priority was to expel the Jews; this goal 
possessed an urgency which far outstripped the requirements of the WVHA for labour 
anywhere in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. Although the heads of SS main offices had met 
in conference together with Himmler on January 14 to 15, 1942 179 , the evidence suggests that 
the two most important main offices, were pursuing different agendas which could only be 
brought very crudely into line. Himmler was undoubtedly a gifted manager and successfully 

174 On this visit see Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, pp. 693-4. 

175 Vermerk Dannecker, 10.3.42, RF-1224, also published in Klarsfeld (ed), Vichy-Auschwitz, p. 374. 

176 Bericht iiber die am 6.3.42 im RSHA - Amt IV B 4 - stattgefundene Besprechung, 9.3.1942, T/119, also in 
Adler, Verheimlichte Wahrheit, pp.9-10. 

177 Gottwaldt/Schulle, Judendeportationen; Franciszek Piper, Die Zahl der Opfer von Auschwitz. Oswiecim, 
1993, esp. table after p. 144; Danuta Czech, Kalendarium der Ereignisse im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz- 
Birkenau 1939-1945, Reinbek, 1989. A partial exception was the deportation - unregistered in the so-called 
'Smolen list' (NOKW-2824) - of Jews from Gleiwitz in Silesia, cf. Gottwaldt, Judendeportationen, pp. 393-4; 
the oft-cited deportation from Beuthen on 15 February 1942 is based on inaccurate information from the 
Interational Tracing Service cited by Martin Broszat in his commentary on Rudolf Hoss, Kommandant im 
Auschwitz, Stuttgart, 1958, esp pp.155, 174-5. 

178 The Economics and Administration Main Office (Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt, WVHA), was 
ordered formed on January 19, 1942 and had an official 'birthday' of February 1. Cf. Pohl, Befehl, 19.1.1942, 
BS NS19/3904, p.4ff, also NO-495. On the formation of the WVHA from Pohl's Hauptamt Haushalt und 
Bauten and the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps, see Walter Naasner, Neue Machtzentren in der deutschen 
Kriegswirtschaft 1942-1945. Die Wirtschaftsorganisation der SS, das Amt des Generalbevollmdchtigten fur den 
Arbeitseinsatz und das Reichsministerium fur Bewaffnung und Munition/Reichsministerium fur Riistung und 
Kriegsproduktion im nationalsozialistischen Herrschaftssystem, Boppard am Rhein, 1994; as well as Karin 
Orth, Das System der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager. Eine politische Organisationsgeschichte, 
Hamburg, 1999; Schulte, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung, p.l97ff; Allen, The Business of Genocide, p.l65ff. 

179 Dienstkalender, pp.316-317 (14-15.1.1941). 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

juggled many different projects - Germanisation, SS economic plans, the Final Solution - but 
the Reichsfiihrer-SS was also prone to Utopian flights of fantasy and issuing impracticable 
orders whose realisation fell far short of the intended outcomes. 

In September 1941, Himmler had ordered the construction of prisoner of war camps 
(Kriegsgefangenenlager, KGL) at Auschwitz and Majdanek, seeking to exploit the labour of 
Soviet POWs in the context of his Germanisation and resettlement plans under the auspices 
of the Generalplan Ost. 180 This was a trade-off negotiated between Himmler, Goring and the 
Wehrmacht in exchange for the SS agreeing to the deployment of Soviet POWs in the Nazi 
war economy in the Reich. 181 Himmler secured the agreement of the Wehrmacht to hand over 
300,000 Soviet POWs. 182 On September 22, 1941, Hans Kammler issued orders that 
Majdanek was to be constructed as a concentration camps with a capacity of 50,000 
prisoners; five days later, he clarified that this would be a KGL for 50,000 POWs and would 
be matched by another KGL at Auschwitz, tasking SS-Obersturmfiihrer Grosch with the 
supervision of both projects. 183 In the first weeks of October, a new chief of the ZBL at 
Auschwitz, Karl Bischoff, was assigned to oversee the project at Birkenau 184 , and a formal 
construction order specifying that both camps were to accommodate 125,000 prisoners was 
issued on November l. 185 After a inspection tour of Stutthof by Himmler on November 23, 
this camp, too, was added to the planning and was intended to accommodate a further 20,000 
POWs. 186 The target capacity for Majdanek was soon raised to 150,000 POWs, so that it is 
clear that Himmler, Pohl and Kammler thought in terms of assigning all 300,000 POWs 

180 For the context of these decisions, see also Schulte, 'Vom Arbeits- zum Vernichtungslager'. 

181 A key meeting between Himmler, Goring and the state secretary of the Labour Ministry, Freidrich Syrup, 
took place in August; cf. Dienstkalendar Himmler, p. 198 (20.8.41). An order loosening a ban on the utilisation 
of Soviet POW labour in the Reich imposed after the start of 'Barbarossa' was issued a few days later: RAM Nr 
VA 5135/1277, Einsatz von sowjet. Kriegsgefangenen, 26.8.41, BA R3901/20168, pp. 53-4; cf. WiRuAmt/Ru 
IV, Vortragsnotiz fur Chef OKW, 26.8.41, NA T77/1066/375. 

182 The order is indicated in FS OKW/Abt. Kriegsgef an MiG, 25.9.41, NA T501/220/192-3; for internal SS 
discussions see Dienstkalender, pp.208-10, 215 (15-16.9.41, 22.9 .41, 25.9.41). 

183 Chef des Amtes II-Bauten an Zentralbauleitung Lublin, 22.9.1941; Der Chef des Amtes-II Bauten, 
Errichtung von Kriegsgefangenenlager, 27.9.41, both BA-DH KL Hafta Nr 7. 

184 Bischoff's arrival is sometimes dated to 1.10.1941 on the basis of his personnel file (NARA-BDC SS-OA 
Karl Bischoff), but his predecessor Schlachter as well as the commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Hbss, were only 
informed of the change on October 11. Cf. Kammler an Schlachter, 11.10.1941; Kammler an Hoss, 11.10.1941, 
RGVA 1372-6-22, pp. 240-3. For the earlier date, see the references in Schulte, 'Vom Arbeits- zum 
Vernichtungslager', p. 52 n.59. 

185 Der Chef des Amtes II Bauten, Kriegsgefangenenlager Auschwitz, 1.11.41, RGVA 502-1-215, p. 10; for 
KGL Lublin see Der Chef des Amtes II Bauten, Kriegsgefangenenlager Lublin, 1.11.41, BA DH KL Hafta Nr 7, 
p. 4. This order confirmed the figure give in the first explanatory report for Birkenau, dated the previous day; cf. 
Erlauterungsbricht zum Vorentwurf fur den Neubau des Kriegsgefangenenlagers der Waffen-SS, Auschwitz 
O/S, 31.10.41, RGVA 502-1-233, pp.13-21. 

186 Dienstkalender, p.271 (23.11.1941). 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

granted to the SS under the terms of the agreement with the Wehrmacht. 187 By December 
1941, Kammler's construction plans envisaged camps for 150,000 POWs in the Reich - thus, 
presumably, 125,000 at Birkenau and up to 25,000 at Stutthof - along with 150,000 in Lublin 
and 5,000 at Deblin. 188 

Despite the seeming clarity of these orders, the SS in fact dispersed their allotted 
Soviet POWs across many concentration camps in the Reich, including Flossenbiirg, 
Mauthausen and Buchenwald, and thereby fatally conflated the transfer of labouring POWs 
with the handovers of commissars and other 'undesirable' POWs under the terms of 
Heydrich's Einsatzbefehl Nr 8, issued on July 17, 1941. 189 The result was that the Lager-SS 
of Auschwitz, who had murdered hundreds of Soviet POWs in two gassings under the 
auspices of Einsatzbefehl Nr 8 in September 1941 190 , methodically decimated the allotted 
contingent of 8,000 Soviet POW labourers over the course of the winter of 1941/2. 191 By the 
end of January 1942, Hoss could only promise the construction inspectorate a daily 
workforce of 2,000 prisoners to help build the camp. 192 

The mass starvation of Soviet POWs in the winter of 1941, the crisis in the German 
war effort and war economy that became apparent after the German defeat before Moscow, 
and the systematic maltreatment of Soviet POWs by the Lager-SS due to their indoctrination 
with 'anti-Bolshevism', meant that Soviet POWs were henceforth no longer an option for 
Himmler if he were to realise his increasingly grandiose construction plans. Accordingly, he 
ordered in a telex to Richard Gliicks, the head of the IKL, on January 26, 1942 that 150,000 
Jews "who are being emigrated from Germany" were to be transferred to the concentration 
camps to take the place of the POWs. 193 This contradicted Heydrich's vision of able-bodied 
Jews deported in the course of the Final Solution being sent 'road building to the east' 
outlined six days earlier at the Wannsee conference. The quota also comfortably exceeded the 
total potential labour force that could even theoretically have been scratched together from 

187 Der Chef des Amtes II-Bauten, KGL Lublin. 8.12.41, BA DH KL Hafta Nr 7. 

188 II/3-Allg.-55/Se./Lo., Vorlaufiges Friedensbauprogramm des Hauptamtes Haushalt und Bauten, Amt II- 
Bauten, Berlin, 4.12.41, BA NS19/2065, p.4. 

189 Reinhard Otto, Wehrmacht, Gestapo und sowjetische Kriegsgefangene im deutschen Reichsgebiet 1941/42, 
Munich, 1998. 

190 Stanislaw Klodzinski, 'Die erste Vergasung von Haftlingen und Kriegsgefangenen im Konzentrationslager 
Auschwitz' in Hamburger Institut fur Sozialforschung (ed), Die Auschwitz-He fte: Texte der polnischen 
Zeitschrift 'Przeglad Lekarski' uber historischen, psychologischen und medizinischen Aspekte des Lebens und 
Sterbens in Auschwitz. Hamburg, 1987; cf. Joachim Neander and Sergey Romanov, 'Dr. Neander responds to 
Carlo Mattogno,' Holocaust Controversies, 13.2.10, 
ioachim-neander-responds-to-carlo.html . 

191 Jerzy Brandhuber, 'Die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz', Hefte von 
Auschwitz, 4, 1961, pp.5-62. 

192 Aktenvermerk betr. Vordringliche Bauaufgaben im Jahre 1942, 2.2.42, RGVA 502-1-19, p. 11. 

193 Himmler an Gliicks, 26.1.42, BA NS19/1920, p.l, also NO-500. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

Reich Jews, many of whom were in any case barred from deportation due to an earlier 
agreement between the SS and OKW to exempt Jewish armaments workers for the time 
being. 194 Indeed, Kammler's immediate requirements for labour in the concentration camps 
fell somewhat short of Himmler's figure of 150,000. According to his revised plan of 
February 1942, a total of 67,500 "prisoners, POWs, Jews, etc" were needed for construction 
in the Reich - and thus including but not limited to Auschwitz - while projects in the 
Generalgouvernement - and thus including but not limited to Majdanek - would require 
47,500 workers. A further 60,000 prisoners, POWs or Jews were required for construction in 
the 'Ostraum', mainly in connection with the Strongpoints. 195 

Himmler's figure of 150,000 was therefore simply plucked out of thin air. It did, 
however, help shape the course of the initial phase of deportations of Slovak and West 
European Jews to Auschwitz 196 and influence the division of deportees to the Lublin district 
between Majdanek and so-called 'transit ghettos'. Moreover, the substitution of Jews for 
Soviet POWs in what Himmler regarded as high-priority SS projects demonstrated that the 
SS wanted to harmonise its task of carrying out the Final Solution with its own economic and 
construction ambitions. Henceforth, labour and extermination would run in parallel as two 
sides of the same destructive coin. 

Extermination and Labour 

Not content with misunderstanding the origins of Aktion Reinhard, Mattogno also fails to 
grasp the intentions and motivations of the civil administration and SS in the 
Generalgouvernement. Literally almost every statement that indicates the emergence of a 
genocidal mentality in occupied Poland, and every statement that confirms that genocide was 
in fact resolved upon and carried out, is omitted from the 'trilogy'. Instead of confronting and 

194 The most comprehensive survey is Wolf Gruner, Der Geschlossene Arbeitseinsatz deutscher Juden. Zur 
Zwangsarbeit als Element der Verfolgung 1938-1943, Berlin, 1997; for an English summary see Wolf Gruner, 
Jewish Forced Labor Under the Nazis. Economic Needs and Racial Aims, 1938-1944, New York: Cambridge 
University Press, 2006, pp. 3-173. 

195 SS-WVHA, Vorschlag fur die Aufstellung von SS-Baubrigaden fur die Ausfiihrung von Bauaufgaben des 
Reichsfuhrers-SS im Kriege und Frieden, 10.2.42, BA NS19/2065, p.29 (sent to Himmler on 5.3.42). 

196 In accordance with Himmler's demand for the transfer of female Jews to the camps, a women's camp was set 
up at Auschwitz as a satellite of KL Ravensbriick. Himmler himself coordinated this venture during a visit to 
Ravensbriick on March 3, 1942 - again highlighting the manner in which decisions came together in the first 
week of that month - while orders went out regarding the training of personnel and the physical construction of 
the women's section in the subsequent weeks. Cf. Dienstkalender, p. 368 n.4 (3.3.42); FS Liebehenschel to KL 
Auschwitz, 10.3.42, ZIP/GPDD 46 (9.5.42) No 3, PRO HW16/17; SS-WVHA C V, Frauenzweiglager 
Auschwitz, 18.3.42, RGVA 502-1-6, p.2ff, referring to a telex of the IKL of 5.3.1942. See also Bernhard 
Strebel, Das KZ Ravensbriick. Geschichte eines Lagerkomplexes. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schoningh, 2003, 
pp. 340-355, on the functioning of the Ravensbriick/ Auschwitz relationship at this time. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

properly dealing with this evidence, Mattogno opts to substitute a strawman version of Nazi 
policy, an all-or-nothing caricature whereby either the Nazis implemented virtually 
instantaneous 100% extermination, or they did not do this at all. Yet this strawman is flatly 
contradicted by the extant paper trail, which makes it perfectly clear, as we have seen above, 
that the Nazis carried out their extermination policy in tandem with a policy of selecting and 
sparing an ever decreasing minority of Jews for use as forced labourers. 197 Ignorant as he is 
of recent historiography, Mattogno does not seem to realise that there were three distinct 
phases to Aktion Reinhard: a first phase from March to June 1942 in which the system was 
tested in the Lublin and Galicia districts while preparations were undertaken in other districts; 
a second phase of accelerated deportation and mass murder from late June to December 1942 
in which every district was targeted, and a third phase from January 1943 onwards, where the 
surviving Jews, now reduced down to around 20% of their number at the start of 1942, were 
decimated piecemeal, as ghettos were reduced in districts which had fallen behind others 
were eliminated (e.g. in the Galicia and Bialystok districts), and other ghettos were converted 
to labour and concentration camps. The evolution from phase to phase, moreover, was 
influenced by two key variables - food and labour. Priorities demonstrably shifted over the 
course of 1942, decisively shaping the course of Aktion Reinhard. 

From his constant repetition of the strawman of 100% extermination, it appears that 
Mattogno believes there is somehow a major contradiction between Nazi pronouncements 
wishing for the total extermination of the Jews and statements which indicate that some Jews 
were to be kept alive for work. Yet this contradiction exists only in his head. Had Mattogno 
examined the paper trail more thoroughly, he would have noted many statements from 1939 
to 1941 wishing for the death of the Jews in Poland or contemplating their extermination. It is 
quite apparent that many Nazis in occupied Poland wanted the Jews to die long before mass 
extermination began. Others recoiled from this step for primarily practical reasons. Until 
early 1942, it was clear that the civil administration in particular could not quite imagine how 
the Jews would die; since starvation in ghettos and decimatory mass shootings did not seem 
enough to cope with the sheer number of Jews in the Generalgouvernement. Other Nazis, 
meanwhile, insisted that it was necessary to preserve at least some Jews for labour purposes, 
since Nazi policy had drained the Generalgouvernement of many Poles who had been 

197 On Jewish forced labour in the Generalgouvernement, see Josef Marszalek, Obozy pracy w Generalnym 
Gubernatorstwie w latach 1939-1945, Lublin, 1998; Dieter Pohl, 'Die groBen Zwangsarbeitslager der SS- und 
Polizeifiihrer fur Juden im Generalgouvernement 1942-1945', in: Ulrich Herbert, Karin Orth, Christoph 
Dieckmann (eds), Die nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager - Entwicklung und Struktur, Bd. I, Gottingen 
1998, pp. 415-438; Gruner, Jewish Forced Labor, passim. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

deported to Germany as forced labourers. The "contradictions" are thus evidence of a 
compromise between two competing positions. They also reflect the fact that the underlying 
desire was total extermination - but this still does not preclude the preservation of a minority 
for labour purposes. Nor do many statements even refer to 'total extermination'. The 
retrospective statements that recur in 1943 regarding 'the destruction of the Jews' refer to the 
fact that the Nazis had indeed killed close to 1.5 million Jews in the preceding year in this 
region. Evidently historical usage of extermination was no different to how extermination is 
used by everyone other than Mattogno and some of his acolytes: if 80 or 90% of a population 
is killed, that is extermination, bust. 

If Mattogno has evident cognitive problems coping with the meaning of 
'extermination', then it is also clear that he simply does not grasp that Nazi intentions 
towards Polish Jews were genocidal from the outset. As it is a virtual certainty that Mattogno 
has never looked at the UN Convention on Genocide or comprehended its definition of this 
crime, it might be an idea for him to look it up now before we go any further. 198 

Thus, whereas Mattogno seems to think that the 'Lublin reservation' plan was a 
comparatively benign measure 199 , if one examines the actual rhetoric used by Nazi leaders 
when contemplating this plan - drawn up already in 1939 - then we find copious evidence of 
the emergence of genocidal intent and a genocidal mentality. In keeping with the strategy of 
the SS, in particular the SD, towards Jewish policy developed during the pre-war years 200 , 
from the outset of the Nazi occupation of Poland, Heydrich foresaw a more systematic 
solution to the 'Jewish Question' than could be offered by random violence and pogroms. On 
September 14, 1939, he told his department heads that Himmler would be presenting Hitler 
"with suggestions that only the Fiihrer can decide upon since they had important foreign 
policy ramifications." 201 On September 20, Hitler informed the commander in chief of the 
Army, Walter Brauchitsch, that "the general idea of ghettos exists, though the details were 
not yet cleared up. Consideration of economic interests from the beginning." 202 The 
following day, Heydrich convened another meeting of department heads, also attended by the 
desk referent for the Jewish question, Adolf Eichmann, and presented the first outline of a 
plan: "Jews into the cities as quickly as possible, Jews out of the Reich into Poland, the rest 
of the 30,000 Gypsies also into Poland, systematic expulsion of the Jews from German areas 

198 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, adopted by UN Resolution 260 (III) A of 
9.12.1948, online at . 

199 M&G, Treblinka, pp.233-4. 

200 See Michael Wildt (ed), Die Judenpolitik des SD 1935-1938, Munich, 1995. 

201 Protokoll der Amtschefbesprechung am 14.9.1939, BA R58/825, pp.10-12. 

202 KTB Haider, I, p.82 (20.9.1939). 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

in goods trains." Polish Jews would be expelled from territories to be annexed into Germany 
into the "foreign-speaking Gau", in other words the future Generalgouvernement, or across 
the Nazi-Soviet demarcation line. 203 An express letter went out to the commanders of the 
Einsatzgruppen, informing them of the outlines of Nazi Judenpolitik in occupied Poland, and 
emphasised the difference between "the final goal (which will take a long time)" and "the 
stages by which this final goal will be reached (which can be undertaken in shorter periods of 
time." The Endziel was to be kept "strictly secret." 204 The next day, Heydrich informed 
Brauchitsch, that a "Jewish state under German administration near Krakow" was envisaged 
inside Poland. 205 By September 29, Heydrich was speaking derisively of a "nature reserve" or 
"Reich ghetto" located "beyond Warsaw around Lublin." 206 On the same day, Nazi Party 
theoretician Alfred Rosenberg discussed with Hitler both the location "between Vistula and 
Bug" as well as its future inhabitants: "the entirety of Jewry (also from the Reich), as well as 
all otherwise undesirable elements." 207 

The 'ethnic cleansing' (yolkische Flurbereinigung) of Poland would thus be carried 
out through a domino effect of expelling Jews as well as Poles from the annexed territories 
and the Reich into rump Poland, and within rump Poland into the 'Lublin reservation'. To 
oversee the entire process, on October 7, Himmler was appointed Reich Commissar for the 
Strengthening of Germandom (Reichskommissar fur die Festigung deustchen Volkstums, 
RKFDV) 208 , a task he divided between several SS main offices. 209 On October 30, Himmler 
issued his first proper ordinance as RKF, demanding that "all Jews" and various categories of 
Poles were to be resettled out of the annexed territories. 210 The expulsions from the 

203 Protokoll der Amtschefbesprechung am 21.9.1939, BA R58/825, pp.26-30. 

204 Heydrich an die Chefs der Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei, 21.9.1939, BA R58/954, pp.181-185. On 
this document see also Dan Michman, 'Why Did Heydrich Write the Schnellbrief? A Remark on the Reason and 
on Its Significance,' Yad Vashem Studies 32, 2004, pp. 433-47. 

205 Aufzeichnung iiber eine mundliche Orientierung durch Major Radtke am 22.9.1939, published in Helmuth 
Groscurth, Tagebiicher ernes Abwehroffiziers, Stuttgart, 1970, p. 361-2. 

Protokoll der Amtschefbesprechung am 29.9.1939, BA R58/825, p.36-37. 


207 Hans-Giinther Seraphim (ed), Das Politische Tagebuch Alfred Rosenbergs aus den Jahren 1933/35 und 
1939/40, Gottingen, 1956, p. 81. Although Heydrich's Endziel was supposed to be kept secret, Hitler entirely 
open about the 'Lublin reservation' plan, and even discussed it with the Swedish industrialist Birgit Dahlerus on 
September 26 and explained his concept of 'ethnic cleansing' to the Italian foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano not 
long afterwards. Andreas Hillgruber (ed), Staatsmdnner und Diplomaten bei Hitier. Vertrauliche 
Aufzeichnung en iiber Unterredungen mit Vertretern des Auslands, Bd. 1, Frankfurt am Main, 1970, pp. 29-30 
(26.9.1939); ADAP Serie D, Bd. 7, Nr. 176, (2.10.1939). 

208 Erlass des Fuhrers iiber die Festigung deutschen Volkstums, 7.10.1939, 686-PS, IMT XXVI, pp. 255-7; cf. 
Robert L. Koehl, RKFDV: German Resettlement and Population Policy, 1939-1945: A History of the Reich 
Commission for the Strengthening of Germandom , Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1957. 

209 Respectively, the Race and Resettlement Main Office (RuSHA), a new main office for the RKFDV, and the 
newly formed Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) under Heydrich. 

210 Anordnung I/II, 30.10.1939, published in FGM, pp.42-3. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

incorporated territories began not long afterwards, exacerbating an existing west-east flight of 
Polish Jews. 211 

Declarations by Nazi leaders and planners concerning the 'Lublin reservation' make it 
clear that this resettlement scheme was conceived virtually from the outset in a genocidal 
mindset. To outside observers, fully familiar with the much discussed idea, the conclusion 
was that the 'reservation' plan would lead to a massive loss of life: 

In well-informed quarters in this country the German Government's apparent 
intention to form a Jewish State in Poland is regarded as a remarkable example of 
political cynicism... Herr Hitler now proposes to concentrate the 3,000,000 Jews 
of Poland in a State which is to be cut out of the body of Poland and will have 
Lublin for its centre.... To thrust 3,000,000 Jews, relatively few of whom are 
agriculturalists, into the Lublin region and to force them to settle there would 
doom them to famine. That, perhaps, is the intention. 212 

This deduction can be fully confirmed from contemporary documents. Some Nazis, 
such as Joseph Goebbels, were already coming to the conclusion that "this Jewry must be 
destroyed" after seeing scenes filmed inside Polish ghettos. 213 After visiting Lodz, Goebbels 
wrote in his diary that "these are no longer people, these are animals. That is therefore also no 
humanitarian but a surgical task. One must make cuts here, and indeed radical ones. 
Otherwise Europe will go to ground from the Jewish sickness." 214 Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the 
deputy governor of the Generalgouvernement, expected that the Lublin reservation would 
lead to a "strong decimation of the Jews." 215 The Generalgouverneur himself, Hans Frank, 
stated shortly afterwards that "the more die, the better." 216 

A planning expert from the German Foreign Institute in Stuttgart, Konekamp, stated 
after an inspection tour of the GG at the end of November and start of December 1939 that 
"the destruction of this sub-humanity would be in the interests of the entire world. This 
extermination is however one of the most difficult problems. One cannot see it through with 
shootings. One cannot also shoot women and children. One reckons here and there also with 
losses from evacuation transports." 217 Albrecht Haushofer, working in the Foreign Office 
publicity department, noted in December 1939 of a lunchtime encounter "with the man whose 

211 For a short summary, see Golczewski, 'Polen', pp. 426-432. 

212 'New Jewish State in Poland', The Times, 24.10.1939. 

213 TBJG 1/7, p.177 (31.10.1939). 

214 TBJG 1/3, p.612. 

215 Bericht iiber die Dienstreise, 22.11.1939, 2278-PS, IMT XXX, p.95; cf. Safrian, Eichmann-Mdnner, p.88, 
Aly, Endlosung, p. 34. 

216 Protokoll einer Rede in Radom, FGM, p.46. 

217 Bericht Konekamp iiber Polenfahrt, cited in Gotz Aly and Susanne Heim, 'Die Oekonomie der 'Endlosung': 
Menschenverwaltung und wirtschaftliche Neuordnung', Beitrage zur Nationalsozialistischen Gesundheits- und 
Sozialpolitik 5: Sozialpolitik und Juenvemichtung : Gibt es erne Oekonomie der Endlosung?, Berlin, 1987, pp. 7- 
90, here p.48. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

systematic task it will be to leave a substantial number of the Jews who are to be freighted out 
into the Lublin ghetto to freeze to death and starve there." 218 Himmler declared that "it is 
high time that this scum is concentrated into ghettos and then diseases are brought in to leave 
them to croak." 219 Himmler's appointed representative in Lublin, the SS- and Police Leader 
(SS- und Polizeifiihrer, SSPF) Odilo Globocnik, foresaw instead famine as the weapon of 
mass destruction: "the evacuated Jews and Poles... should feed themselves and obtain 
support from their people because those Jews have plenty. If this should not succeed, they 
should be left to starve." 220 Similar sentiments were also heard from Hans Frank, discussing 
the food situation with the state secretary of the Agriculture Ministry, Herbert Backe, in April 
1940: "I'm not remotely interested in the Jews. Whether they have something to eat or not is 
the last thing on earth I care about." 221 

The Lublin reservation plan, however, ended up as a miserable failure. Although 
clung to into the spring of 1940, causing a delay to proposals to establish a ghetto in 
Warsaw 222 , the sheer disruption caused by 'wild' deportations was immense. Moreover, the 
intention to deport Jews from the Reich to the Lublin 'reservation' was an even more drastic 
failure. The so-called 'Nisko plan', organised and supervised by Adolf Eichmann, never 
succeeded in bringing more than a few thousand Austrian and Czech Jews to Lublin. After 
some of the deportees had been expelled across the Nazi-Soviet demarcation line and many 
hundreds had died of malnutrition and disease, the few remaining survivors were uniquely 
allowed to return home in early 1940. 223 

Nor was the 'Lublin reservation' plan the last time that the Nazis found themselves 
contemplating genocide and extermination in the early years of the occupation. Over the 
course of 1940-41, Nazi policies of expropriation, racist food rationing, forced labour, 
maltreatment, and local expulsions battered the Jewish community in the 
Generalgouvernement continuously and began to decimate it. Nowhere was this process more 
visible than in the Warsaw ghetto. After food supplies were suspended in early 1941, the GG 
administration commissioned a report on the economic future of the ghetto, which was 

218 Hans-Adolf Jacobsen (ed), Karl Haushofer: Leben und Werk, Bd. 2: Ausgewahlter Schriftwechsel, 1917- 
1946, Boppard am Rhein, 1979, nr. 226. 

219 Dieter Pohl, Von der 'Judenpolitik' zum Judenmord. Der Distrikt Lublin des Generalgouvernements 1939- 
1944, Frankfurt am Main, 1993, p.49. 

220 Pohl, Judenpolitik, p. 52, citing Protokoll der Distriktsitzung, 16.2.1940, APL GDL/61, p. 17. 

221 Diensttagebuch, p.186 (23.4.1940). 

~ 22 Riickblick des Umsiedlungsreferenten im Distrikt Warschau, Waldemar Schon, 21.1.1941, FGM, p.l08ff 
223 On the Nisko action see Seev Goshen, 'Eichmann und die Nisko-Aktion im Oktober 1939: Eine Fallstudie 
zur NS Judenpolitik in der letzten Etappe vor der Endlosung', VfZ 29/1, 1981, pp. 74-96; 'Nisko - Eine 
Ausnahmefall unter den Judenlagern der SS', VfZ 40/1, 1992, pp. 95-106; Jonny Moser, 'Nisko: The First 
Experiment in Deportation', SWC 2, 1985, pp. 1-30. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

drafted by Dr. Rudolf Gater, the head of the Reich Board for Economic Efficiency, at the 
behest of Dr. Walter Emmerich, the head of the economics department of the GG 
administration. 224 Recognising clearly that the ghetto consumed more than it produced, Gater 
spelled out the choices: to subsidize the ghetto, to harness the Jews to productive labour, to 
loosen restrictions on movement and allow the Jews to resume normal commercial contacts, 
or to accept the consequences of sealing off the ghetto and undersupplying it. The ghetto 
could either be "a means... to liquidate the Jews" or a source of labour. 

The crisis of the Warsaw ghetto revealed a conflict between 'attritionists' and 
'productionists' inside the German administration. 225 The men directly assigned to supervise 
the Warsaw ghetto, Waldemar Schon and Adam Palfinger, belonged to the first camp, 
blithely insisting that further wealth could be drained out of the ghetto by suspending food 
supplies and forcing the Jews to turn to the black market. The district governor, Ludwig 
Fischer, took a rosy line that virtually ignored reality, declaring that there were 40,000 Jews 
employed inside or outside the ghetto, and that epidemics had been cut in half. 226 In April 
1941, the factions clashed at a meeting chaired by Hans Frank. Rather than 40,000 ghetto 
inhabitants in employment, the real number was just 19,000, of whom 12,000 worked in 
labour camps outside the ghetto and 7,000 in workshops inside it, versus a total of 185,000 
men and women deemed fit for work (arbeitsfahig). 227 After much mutual recrimination, the 
argument went against the 'attritionists'. For Frank, maintaining the productivity of the ghetto 
was the "lesser evil", especially since he had been told in March 1941 that the 
Generalgouvernement would be the first territory to be freed of Jews. 228 Schon and Palfinger 
were transferred and replaced by Max Bischof as head of the Transferstelle and Heinz 
Auerswald as commissar of the Jewish district, who immediately began to institute somewhat 
more rational economic policies towards the ghetto, as the head of the Jewish Council, Adam 
Czerniakow, quickly noted. 229 This "turnabout" was, however, entirely relative. Although the 
"cultural scandal" of bodies littering the streets noted by the Wehrmacht commandant of 

224 Die Wirtschaftsbilanz des jiidischen Wohnbezirks in Warschau, Marz 1941, published in Gotz Aly and 
Susanne Heim (eds), Bevolkerungsstruktur und Massenmord. Neue Dokumente zur deutschen Politik der Jahre 
1938-1945, Berlin: Rotbuch, 1991, pp.74-138. 

225 See Christopher Browning, 'German Technocrats, Jewish Labor, and the Final Solution' in The Path to 
Genocide, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 59-76; Gotz Aly and Susanne Heim, Vordenker 
der Vernichtung. Auschwitz und die deutschen Plane fur eine neue europdische Ordnung, Frankfurt am Main: 
Fischer, 1991, p.312-310. 

226 Diensttagebuch, p.337 (25.3.1941). 

227 Diensttagebuch, pp. 343-6 (3.4.1941); cf. Browning, Origins, pp. 127-9. 

228 Diensttagebuch, pp.359-362 (19.4.1941). 

229 Czerniakow, pp.230-246 (5.5-3.6.1941). 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Warsaw was tidied up 230 , the spectacle of emaciated corpses was really only shoved under 
the carpet, not done away with: mortality remained high through the remainder of 1941, and a 
total of 43,000 Jews died in the Warsaw ghetto during that year. 

By the autumn of 1941, despite high hopes, as no sign emerged of the promised 
removal of the Jews 231 , and as sanitary conditions in the ghettos worsened, leading officials 
in the GG returned to the old theme of destroying them. At a conference in Warsaw from 
October 14-16, 1941, the governor of the Warsaw district, Ludwig Fischer, demanded that 
the ghetto be sealed completely to prevent the spread of typhus and declared that "this war is 
about a confrontation with Jewry in its totality... I believe that threat is answered when we 
annihilate the breeding ground of Jewry, from which the entire World Jewry renews 
itself." 232 At another conference, this time of health officials, held at the spa resort town of 
Bad Krynica, a medical expert opined that the control of typhus was impossible when 
"without doubt the Jewish population simply broke out of the ghettos in which there was 
nothing to eat", recommending that there be an increased food supply for the ghettos to solve 
the problem. Dr. Jost Walbaum, head of the public health department of the GG 
administration, replied: 

You are completely right. Naturally it would be the best and simplest to give the 
people sufficient provisioning possibilities, but that cannot be done. That is 
connected to the food situation and the war situation in general. Thus shooting 
will be employed when one comes across a Jew outside the ghetto without 
permission. One must, I can say it quite openly in this circle, be clear about it. 
There are only two ways. We sentence the Jews in the ghetto to death by 
hunger or we shoot them. Even if the end result is the same, the latter is more 
intimidating. We cannot do otherwise, even if we want to. We have one and only 
one responsibility, that the German people are not infected and endangered by 
these parasites. For that any means must be right. 

According to the extant protocol of the meeting, Walbaum's words provoked 
"applause, clapping". 233 

It is important to note that these blood-curdling musings took place against the 
backdrop of a new harvest year and the results of negotiations with Goring' s Four Year Plan 
over agricultural requisitioning and rationing. In the 1940/41 harvest year, the GG had not 
been called upon to supply food to the Reich, but this was about to change. A high-level 

230 Kommandantur Warschau Qu/Ib, Monatsbericht 15.4-15.5.41, 20.5.1941, NARA T501/214/269. 

231 See section 'Mattogno's 'Resettlement' Shell Game' below 

i2 Quoted in David Furber and Wendy Lower, 'Colonialism and Genocide in Nazi-Occupied Poland and 
Ukraine' in A. Dirk Moses (ed), Empire, Colony, Genocide. Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in 
World History, Oxford: Berghahn, 2008, pp.372-400, here p.383. 

233 Cited in Christopher R. Browning, 'Genocide and Public Health: German Doctors and Polish Jews, 1939- 
1941', HGS 3/1, 1988, pp.21-36, here p.27. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

conference between Goring and Backe on September 15, 1941 had resolved that the newly 
conquered occupied Soviet territories would be ruthlessly exploited for foodstuffs, even if 
this came at the expense of the Soviet civilian population or Soviet prisoners of war. 234 A 
follow-up conference the next day involving the Wehrmacht reiterated Goring's and Backe's 
demands. 235 Immediately after the second meeting, Goring send a telegram to the GG in 
Cracow concerning the need to export food supplies to Poland. This was done after Backe 
had reported that Frank had refused to cooperate with the Agriculture Ministry. Frank's 
response was to insist that he had done "the most humanly possible" and that surpluses for 
export were simply not available. 236 

The food situation in occupied Poland, both in the Government-General and in the 
'incorporated territories', had long been regarded as catastrophic. 237 In rejecting the demands 
for exports to Germany made by Goring and Backe, Frank emphasised the fact that his 
regime was already supplying the majority of the food needed to provision the Wehrmacht 
garrison of some 400,000 soldiers. Negotiations to agree upon the requisitions needed for the 
third war year had in fact just taken place in the week before Goring's telegram of September 
16. 238 A series of meetings on September 11, 12, 15 and 16 ensued, which revealed that in 
order to meet the full demands of the Wehrmacht, rations for the civilian population would 
have to be cut, even though cases of typhus and tuberculosis had risen by 120% in the 
preceding year because of malnourishment. The civilian potato ration would be reduced from 
150 kg/year to 100 kg/year, the meat ration from lOOg/week to 75g/week. Rations for the 
projected 400,000 Soviet POWs who were to be accommodated in the Stalags of the 
Government-General would simply be cut in half, reducing the potato ration for prisoners of 
war from 9 kg/week to 4.5 kg/week. These cuts were made without reference to any overt 
decision from the Four Year Plan, Agriculture Ministry, OKW or the Replacement Army of 
OKH. 239 According to the postwar memoirs of Eberhard Westerkamp, the chief of internal 
administration in the GG, the representatives of OKW spelled out "their calculations 

234 Ministerialrat Dr.-Ing. Gornnert, Besprechungsnotiz vom 15.9.41 anlasslich der Besprechung des Herrn 
Reichsmarschall mit Staatssekretar Backe, 16.9.41, RGVA 700-1-31, pp.7-9. 

235 Ministerialrat Dr.-Ing. Gornnert, Zusatz zur Besprechungsnotiz vom 15.9.41 iiber die Besprechung bei den 
Herrn Reichsmarschall vom 16.9.41, 18.9.41, RGVA 700-1-31, pp. 1-5; Verb. St. d. WiRuAmt beim 
Reichsmarschall, Wirtschaftsaufzeichnungen fur die Berichtszeit vom 15.8. bis 16.9.1941, EC-003, IMT 
XXXVI, pp. 105-109. 

236 Diensttagebuch, p.409 (20.9.41). 

~' 7 For contemporary references to the food situation, see Moltke, Briefe an Freya 1939-1945, pp. 270-1 
(17.7.41); Haider, KTB III, pp. 142-3 (2.8.41); Diensttagebuch, pp. 399-400 (Regierungssitzung of 5.9.41). 

238 KTB WiStab Ost Chefgruppe Landwirtschaft, 9.9.41, NA T77/1204/933. 

239 MiG IVa, Vermerk iiber die Besprechungen am 11-12.9.41 in Lemberg bezw Krakau; Ausnutzung des 
Landes, n.d [after 16.9.41], NARA T501/220/236-8, 229-32; Diensttagebuch, pp.405-7 (12.9.41). 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

according to an ice-cold rationale." 240 The consequences of the decisions taken in September 
1941 for the fate of Soviet POWs in the camps of the GG were drastic. Between June 1941 
and April 15, 1942, a total of 292,560 prisoners of war died. Of the 44,000 prisoners 
remaining , only 3,596 were fit enough to be employed as labourers. 241 

The decision to starve Soviet POWs to death - for that is what was involved in the 
September negotiations - represented the crossing of yet another moral and psychological 
threshold for the GG administration, but it was the cuts in civilian rations and general decline 
in the overall food situation that undoubtedly prompted Hans Frank to accede to the wishes of 
subordinates such as Fischer and Walbaum by decreeing on October 15, 1941 that Jews 
caught leaving their assigned residences (ghettos or urban quarters) would be shot, as would 
anyone found assisting them, after a trial by the Special Courts (Sondergerichte). 242 This 
decree eventually modulated into a standard shoot-to4xill order (Schiessbefehl) which 
provided a hunting license for the SS and Police to capture and kill any Jews fleeing 
deportations in 1942. The rigorous enforcement of the Schiessbefehl, however, took time to 
be instituted properly 243 ; it was not until 1942 that significant numbers of Polish Jews began 
to be captured and killed under the auspices of this order. 244 Increasingly trapped in the 
ghettos and Jewish quarters by the threat of summary execution if caught outside these 
spaces, the Jews of the GG were also hit hard by the decreased availability of food supplies 

240 Cited in Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, p. 198. 

241 MiG OQu, Kriegsgefangene im Generalgouvernement, Stand am 27.11.41, 2.12.41, 16.12.41, 15.4.42, 
NARA T501/221/967-8, 1115, /220/923. Cf. Streit, Keine Kameraden, p.134. 26,068 had been released and 
8,169 sent to SS, Luftwaffe and Reichsautobahn labour camps. 17, 256 were "handed over to the SD", ie shot, 
while 7,559 escaped. An additional 263,587 POWs were transported from Poland to camps in Germany, where 
many tens of thousands more undoubtedly perished. The OKW POW Department had planned in November 
1941 to transport 660,000 prisoners from Poland to Germany, as there was only food available for 300,000. Cf. 
MiG OQu/Qu.2, Fur KTB, 20.10.41, NARA T501/229/9. 

242 VOB1GG, 1941, p.595 (15.10.1941), also published in FGM, pp.128-9. 

243 Early enforcement is noted in Czemiakow, Warsaw Diary, pp. 296-300 (6-17.11.1941), p.304 (14-15.12.41, 
execution of 15 out f 17 Jews caught outside the ghetto), but other cases were not necessarily punished with 
death. On the treatment of Jews in the Sondergericht system in the Warsaw district, see Jan Grabowski, 'Zydzi 
przed obliczem niemieckich i polskich sadow w dystrykcie warszawskim Generalnego Gubernatorstwa, 1939- 
1942, in Barbara Engelking, Jacek Leociak, Darius Libionka (eds), Prowincja Noc. Zycie i zaglada Zydow w 
dystrykcie warszawskim, Warsaw, 2007, pp. 75-118. 

244 The Schiessbefehl really began to make itself felt from the start of 1942, as numerous reports from 
Kreishauptmanner and Police commands indicate. The county captain of Tomaszow reported that "the drive of 
the Jews to escape death from hunger in the ghetto and continue their lives on the outside is once again 
noticeable. In the past month around 30 Jews, who had left the ghetto without permission and wanted to escape, 
were shot." By March 1942, KdO Lublin recorded the execution of 215 Jews over the course of the month "in 
order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases". Cf. excerpt from monthly report for March 1942 of 
Kreishauptmann Tomaschow, FGM, p. 133; KdO Lublin Halbjahresbericht 1-6.42, AIPN CA 156/44, p. 78. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 
that followed on from the September 1941 requisitioning demands, and by the outbreaks of 

• i • 24S 

numerous epidemics. 

October 1941 also saw a last bid by Hans Frank to remove the Jews of the GG by 
expulsion. On October 13, Frank met Alfred Rosenberg, and asked about the "possibility of 
deporting the Jewish population of the Generalgouvernement into the occupied eastern 
territories." The Eastern Ministry was unable to help, as Rosenberg could see "no possibility 
for the carrying out of such resettlement plans." But Rosenberg promised to let Frank know if 
things changed. 246 Just over a week later, on October 21, Hans Frank along with his interior 
administration chief Eberhard Westerkamp visited Lwow, and repeated the prohibition 
against ghetto building decreed in July, "because the hope exists, that in the near future, the 
Jews can be deported out of the GG." 247 This was the last time that such a hope was ever 
expressed in the records of the Generalgouvernement administration. Plans were taking shape 
in Berlin as a result of the escalation to mass murder in the occupied Soviet Union for a more 
general solution. 248 When the HSSPF Ost, Friedrich-Wilhelm Kriiger, met with Himmler on 
November 28, 1941, to complain about Hans Frank's desire to control Jewish policy 
perfectly, this prompted Reinhard Heydrich to extend an invitation to Frank's state secretary 
Josef Biihler to attend a conference scheduled for December 9, 1941 at Wannsee in Berlin. 249 
The postponement of the conference to January 20, 1942, meant that in the meantime, Frank 
was present to hear Hitler make his announcement to the Reichs- and Gauleiter on December 
12, 1941 that the Jews would be exterminated. 

Concerning the Jewish question, the Fiihrer is determined to make a clean sweep. 
He prophesied to the Jews that if they were once again to cause a world war, the 
result would be their own destruction. That was no figure of speech. The world 
war is here, the destruction of the Jews must be the inevitable consequence. This 
question is to be viewed without sentimentality. It is our duty to have sympathy 
not for the Jews but only for our own German people. If the German people have 
now again sacrificed 160,000 dead on the eastern front, then the authors of this 
bloody conflict must pay for it with their lives. 250 

245 Of 72,000 cases of typhus recorded in 1941, 46,000 were diagnosed in the last quarter of the year, largely 
because of the movement of Soviet POWs. These figures seem to exclude epidemics in the ghettos and pertain 
primarily to the Polish civilian population. Cf. MiG, Leitender San. Offizier, Tatigkeitsbericht, 19.2.42, NA 
T501/220/1213-5. On the German fear of typhus and measures organised in response to outbreaks in the GG, 
see also Paul Weindling, Epidemics and Genocide in Eastern Europe, 1880-1945, Oxford: OUP, 1999. 

246 Diensttagebuch, p.413 (13.10.1941). 

247 Diensttagebuch, p.441 (21.10.1941). 

248 See Chapter 2. 

249 For a facsimile of Heydrich's invite to Biihler as well as the context of the letter, see Yehoushua Biichler and 
Richard Breitman, 'A Preparatory Document for the Wansee 'Conference', HGS 9/1, 1995, pp. 121-9; for 
Kriiger's meeting with Himmler, see Dienstkalender, p. 277 (28.11.1941). 

250 TBJG II/2, pp.498-499 (entry of 13.12.1941); cf. Gerlach, 'Wannsee Conference', and the discussion in 
Chapter 2 of this critique. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Frank was in Berlin from December 10 to 13 and may also have met with Hitler 
privately. It is certain that he correctly understood the message conveyed by Hitler's speech 
to the Reichs- and Gauleiter on December 12, as on his return to Cracow, he addressed a 
gathering of department heads and district governors on December 16, 1941 with the 
following words: 

We must put an end to the Jews, that I want to say quite openly. The Fiihrer once 
spoke these words: if united Jewry should once more succeed in unleashing a 
world war, then the peoples who have been incited to this war will not be its only 
victims, because the Jew in Europe will also have found his end... Before I 
continue to speak I would ask you to agree with me on the following principle: 
we want to have compassion only for the German people, otherwise for no one in 
the whole world. Others have had no compassion for us. As an old National 
Socialist, I must also say: if the Jewish tribe were to survive the war in Europe, 
while we had sacrificed our best blood for Europe's preservation, then this war 
would be only a partial success. Thus vis-a-vis the Jews I will in principle 
proceed only on the assumption that they will disappear. They must go. I have 
entered into negotiations for the purpose of deporting them to the east. In January 
a large meeting will take place in Berlin on this topic, to which I will send State 
Secretary Dr. Biihler. This meeting will be convened in the RSHA by SS- 
Obergruppenfiihrer Heydrich. In any case a large migration of Jews will be set in 

But what is to happen to the Jews? Do you believe that they will be lodged in 
settlements in the Ostland? In Berlin we were told: why all this trouble, we cannot 
use them in the Ostland or the Reichskommissariat [Ukraine] either, liquidate 
them yourselves! Gentlemen, I must ask you, arm yourselves against any thoughts 
of compassion. We must destroy the Jews, wherever we encounter them and 
wherever it is possible, in order to preserve the entire structure of the Reich.... 
One cannot apply previous conceptions to such a gigantic, unique event. In any 
case we must find a way to achieve our goal... The Jews represent for us also 
extraordinarily malignant gluttons. We have an estimated 2.5 million Jews in the 
GG, perhaps with the half-Jews and all that that entails some 3.5 million. We 
cannot shoot these 3.5 million, we cannot poison them, but nonetheless we will 
take some kind of action that will lead to a successful destruction, and indeed in 
conjunction with the important measures to be discussed in the Reich. The GG 
must become just as free of the Jews as the Reich. 251 

Frank's words were very clearly understood by those present as signalling that the Jews 

of the Generalgouvernement would now be exterminated. Indeed, the penny dropped with a 

loud clang for Eberhard Westerkamp, Frank's chief of interior administration, who took the 

opportunity to request a transfer out of Poland to serve in the Army. Before he left, however, 

Westerkamp had a meeting with the HSSPF, Kriiger, in which Westerkamp complained that 

"certain methods and outgrowths in the treatment of the Jewish problem" caused him 

"headaches". Kriiger responded by trying to convince Westerkamp of the necessity of the 

251 Diensttagebuch, pp.457-8 (Regierungssitzung of 16.12.1941). 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

measures. Kriiger later wrote to State Secretary Stuckart of the Interior Ministry declaring 
that both the HSSPF as well as Heydrich retained a good opinion of Westerkamp, despite the 
obvious reasons for his request for transfer to the Army. 252 

With good reason, Frank's speech of December 16, 1941 is considered prima facie 
evidence of the emergence of a policy of extermination. However it is spun, the text of the 
speech cannot be read as indicating anything else than the enunciation of a firm commitment 
to do away with the Jews of the GG. The speech represented the moment when the global, 
geopolitical justifications for genocide articulated by Hitler - the escalation to a world war 
after Nazi Germany's declaration of war on the US, the heavy losses on the Eastern front - 
converged with the regional pressures and dynamics which were leading the GG 
administration to the conclusion that genocide was necessary to solve their local problems. 
The 'why' was utterly clear: ideological 'rationales', the impossibility of deporting the Jews 
to the occupied eastern territories, and the prospect of solving the food situation by 
eliminating "extraordinarily malignant gluttons." The only uncertainties in Frank's words 
relate to the 'how'. Although he had absorbed the implications of Hitler's announcement of 
December 12, 1941 and conveyed the full meaning of this signal from above to his 
subordinates, it is clear from Frank's words that he could not as yet imagine how they would 
exterminate the Jews - 'we cannot shoot them, we cannot poison them.' 253 

Although Mattogno is perfectly aware of this source, he manages to omit it from all 
three volumes of the 'trilogy', even though it is routinely quoted in comparable mainstream 
works on the Reinhard camps. 254 His frantic handwave in an older brochure that "Hans Frank 
did nothing but emulate Hitler's 'annihilation' rhetoric with the same meaning" 255 is not only 
contradicted by the actual texts - Frank made little reference to the role of 'world Jewry' in 
bringing about a world war, but instead emphasised that Jews were "extraordinarily 
dangerous gluttons" - but is also refuted by the reactions of contemporaries who, unlike 
Mattogno, were actually there and heard the speech, who clearly understood its meaning. 
Henceforth, the GG administration would work towards the goal of killing the Jews. 

Mattogno has more to say about the Wannsee protocol, but as we saw in Chapter 2, 
his misunderstandings are copious. His main gambit to try and handwave Wannsee 's 
significance for the GG has already been dealt with: Belzec was a pilot camp to test the 

252 Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, pp. 212-5, esp p. 212, citing Westerkamp an Stuckart, 14.4.1942 and 
Kriiger an Stuckart, 21.4.1942, BA DH ZA/VI, 304/A.2. 

253 The statement 'we cannot poison them' seems to refer to the act of individually administering a dose of 
poison, rather than the method of mass gassing that was actually adopted. 

254 E.g. in Arad, Belzec Sobibor Treblinka, p. 12. 

255 Mattogno, 'Denying Evidence', p. 199. This is, surely, the most ironically titled of all of his brochures. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

feasibility of the methods, and was joined within four months of its opening by two other 
camps. At Wannsee, Frank's state secretary Josef Buhler declared that the Final Solution 
could start in the GG 

since on the one hand transportation does not play such a large role here nor 
would problems of labor supply hamper this action. Jews must be removed from 
the territory of the General Government as quickly as possible, since it is 
especially here that the Jew as an epidemic carrier represents an extreme danger 
and on the other hand he is causing permanent chaos in the economic structure of 
the country through continued black market dealings. Moreover, of the 
approximately 2 1/2 million Jews concerned, the majority is unfit for work. 256 

Reiterating the arguments advanced by Frank on 16 December 1941, Biihler's words are in 

fact incompatible with the well known phraseology of 'the Jews are to be utilised for work in 

the East', since his demand was for the 'removal' of the unfit Jews. Eichmann's sanitisation 

of the protocol was far from perfect; and thus this document can no more be spun for 

Revisionist 'resettlement' fantasies than any other source they try and mutilate. 

That is an assessment which also applies to another source that Mattogno manages to 

bollix up repeatedly. On March 16, Fritz Reuter, an official in the BuF department of the 

Lublin district administration, held a meeting with SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Hermann Hofle, 

regarding the deportations now beginning in the district, including both the arrival of 

transports from the Reich and Slovakia as well as the deportations of Polish Jews. According 

to his memorandum for Dr. Richard Turk, head of the BuF desk, the following concerns were 


It would be appropriate if the transport of Jews that arrive in the Lublin district 
were split in the departure stations into those who are able to work and those who 
are not. If this division is impossible in the departure stations, eventually it should 
be considered to divide the transports in Lublin, according to the aforementioned 
point of view. 

All the Jews incapable of work would arrive in Belzec, the final border station in 
the Zamosc county. 

Hauptsturmfuhrer Hofle is preparing the erection of a big camp, where the Jews 
capable of work will be held and divided according to their professions and from 
where they will be requested. 

Piaski will be cleared of Polish Jews and will become a concentration point for 
Jews arriving from the Reich. 

In the meantime Trawniki will not be populated by Jews 

The Hauptsturmfuhrer asks whether along the train line Deblin-Trawniki 60,000 
Jews can be disembarked. After having been informed about the transports of 


Wannsee-Protokoll, 20.1.1942, NG-2586-G. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

Jews dispatched by us, Hofle announced that out of the 500 Jews who arrived 
from Suziec, those unable to work can be sorted out and sent to Belzec. 
According to a telex of 4 March 1942, a Jewish transport from the Protectorate 
with destination Trawniki is being run. These Jews have not been disembarked at 
Trawniki, but have been taken to Izbica.... 

In conclusion, he announced that every day he can receive four to five transports 
with 1,000 Jews each for the destination of Belzec station. These Jews would 
cross the border and never return to the Generalgouvernement. 257 

Mattogno's ever shifting comments on this document are a source of considerable 
amusement. In Treblinka and Belzec, he misreads the document and asserts that "Belzec was 
supposed to become a camp in which Jews were 'registered in a file system according to their 
occupation'. This does not conform in the least to a 'pure extermination camp'." 258 Yet it is 
quite clear from the fact that Hofle was supposedly "preparing the erection of a big camp" 
that he was not referring to Belzec at all, but rather to Majdanek. Hofle wanted to select the 
foreign Jews upon arrival in Lublin, and would intern the able-bodied foreign Jews in "a large 
camp", namely Majdanek. This was the genesis of the idea and practice of selection, first 
pioneered on the 'ramp' at Lublin, not Auschwitz, and applied to incoming transports from 
the Reich and Slovakia in the ensuing months. 

When called on this nonsensical misreading of the document by Roberto 
Muehlenkamp, Mattogno did little more than repeat the claim and retreat behind a cloud of 
octopus-ink obfuscation about 'total extermination' 259 , which can be ignored for the reasons 
previously given - not only was Belzec a test bed camp in March 1942 260 , but there is no 
incompatibility between exterminating one group of Jews and preserving another group for 
labour. Reuter's file note makes this especially clear. By the time of Sobibor, however, it 
seems that Mattogno had silently dropped his claim that Hofle was discussing Belzec, and 
now claims that "the task of the labour camp for able bodied Jews was probably the supply of 
manpower for the Durchgangsstrasse IV (transit road IV) in nearby Galicia." 261 This 
assertion makes even less sense, since it ignores the fact that Hofle had nothing to do with the 
DG IV construction project, whereas the correct answer - Majdanek - is staring at Mattogno 
right under his freaking nose. Selection on the Lublin 'ramp' was applied to transports 

257 Vemerk, Lublin, den 17.111.1942, gez. Reuter, APL GDL 273, pp.33-34, also FGM, pp.269-70. 

258 M&G, Treblinka, p. 237 (citation); virtually identical wording in Mattogno, Belzec, p. 104. 

259 Mattogno, Belzec e le controversie olocaustiche, pp.13, 58-59. 

260 Shortly after the completion of the first wave of deportations from the Lublin district, the propaganda office 
declared that "the Jewish out-settlement (Judenaussiedlung) has shown that the action can also be carried out on 
a grand scale for the entire GG". Pohl, Judenpolitik, p. 115. 

261 MGK, Sobibor, p.297. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

arriving from Germany, Austria and the Protectorate from late April onwards, as well as to at 
least six of 24 transports arriving from Slovakia. 262 One of the first to be so treated left 
Theresienstadt with 1,000 passengers on April 23, arriving in Piaski on April 25, minus 400 
men adjudged to be arbeitsfahig - fit for work - who had been pulled out of the train at 
Lublin. 263 Radio signals from KL Lublin to Berlin intercepted by Bletchley Park indicate that 
on April 30, there were 6,369 Jews interned in Majdanek, while two months later, on June 30, 
there were 9,779. 264 Nonetheless, as projected in Reuter's protocol of his meeting with Hofle, 
the majority of new arrivals went to the so-called 'transit ghettos', from where they were 
deported onwards to the Reinhard camps over the course of the spring, summer and autumn 
of 1942, with few surviving the ordeal. 265 For example, another Theresienstadt transport, 
departing on May 9, arrived in Siedliszcze, Chelm county on May 11/12. En route, 200-220 
were pulled off the train at Lublin and sent to Majdanek. The remaining deportees were left 
alone for just one week before half the transport was caught up in a deportation to Sobibor on 
May 18. The survivors followed on October 22, with a tiny number selected for the forced 
labour camp (Zwangsarbeitslager, ZAL) at Osowa. 266 

262 Biichler, 'Deportation of Slovak Jews', pp.154, 166; Zofia Leszczynska, 'Transporty wiezniow' in Tadeusz 
Mencel (ed), Majdanek 1941-1944, Lublin, 1991, p. 438. On transports to Majdanek from Theresienstadt, see 
also Miroslav Kryl, 'Deportationen von Theresienstadt nach Majdanek', TSD 1994, pp. 74-89 

263 Gendarmerie-Posten Piaski an Gendarmeriezug in Lublin, betr, Meldung iiber Eintreffung von ca. 600 Juden 
aus der Tschechoslowakei in das Ghetto in Piaski, Kreis loublin, 25.4.42, gez. Kresse, BA R102 11/27, Bl. 35; 
cf. Gottwaldt/Schulle, Judendeportationen, p. 196. 

264 PRO HW16/10. For an analysis of these signals see Tomasz Kranz, Robert Kuwalek, Beata Siwek-Ciupak, 
'Odszyfrowane radiotelegramy ze stanami dziennymi obozu koncentracyjnego na Majdanku (styczen 1942 - 
styczen 1943 r.)', Zeszyty Majdanka 2008, t. XXIV, pp.201-232. 

265 For an overview of deportations from 'Greater Germany' to the Lublin district at this time, see 
Gottwaldt/Schulle, Judendeportationen, pp. 137-219. On the 'transit ghettos' see On the 'transit ghettos', see 
two articles by Robert Kuwalek, 'Die Durchgangsghettos im Distrikt Lublin' in Musial (ed), Aktion Reinhard, 
pp. 197-232 and 'Das kurze Leben "im Osten". Jiidische Deutsche im Distrikt Lublin aus polnisch-jiidischer 
Sicht', in Beate Meyer and Beate Kosmala (eds), Die Deportation der Juden aus Deutschland. Plane - Praxis - 
Reaktionen 1938-1945. Gottingen, 2004, pp. 112-134; also the same author's article 'Das Durchgangsghetto in 
Izbica', TSD 12, 2003, pp. 321-351. The sourcing for these transports is variable; in many cases we have 
surviving reports, eg of the deportation of 955 Jews from Wiirzburg to Krasnystaw; cf. Reisebericht des 
Kriminaloberassistenten Gundelach, 4.5.42, facsimile in Herbert Schott, 'Die ersten drei Deportationen 
mainfrankischer Juden 1941/42' in Staatsarchiv Wiirzburg (ed), Wege in die Vernichtung. Die Deportation der 
Juden aus Mainfranken 1941-1945, Munich, 2003, pp. 73-166, here pp. 136-7. The transport was originally 
intended for Izbica, cf. FS Stapostelle Wiirzburg an RSHA IV B 4, BdS Krakau, SSPF Lublin, 27.4.1942, 
T/740. Also available are contemporary letters, for example Max and Martha Bauchwitz, German Jews from 
Stettin deported to the Lublin district in 1940, wrote on March 25 that "we are still 150 of about 700 here... we 
are still in shock from the last few days. It is desolately empty. The 1,500 from Mainz, Worms and Darmstadt 
have arrived in the homes of those who have departed. They have not a penny on them! It is said many people 
died on the way." Else Rosenfeld and Gertrud Luckner (eds), Lebenszeichen aus Piaski. Briefe Deportierter aus 
dem Distrikt Lublin, 1940-1943, Munich, 1968, p.91. 

266 Peter Witte, 'Letzte Nachrichten aus Siedliszcze. Der Transport Ax aus Theresienstadt in den Distrikt 
Lublin', TSD 1996, pp.98-113. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

Mattogno further compounds his errors over the Reuter file note by confusing himself 
over Hofle 's prior tasking to the Strongpoints project. 267 But as we have seen above, the 
involvement of SSPF Lublin in the SS and Police Strongpoints in the occupied eastern 
territories was ended at the start of March 1942, several weeks before this important meeting. 
And needless to say, Mattogno's interpretation still manages to ignore multiple sources which 
make it perfectly clear what was intended. Jews not fit for work would be taken to Belzec. 
That they would be killed there follows from (1) the simultaneous deportations from Lwow 
and the Galicia district and the documented Nazi lie that the Jews of Lwow were being taken 
to the Lublin district 268 , (2) the Polish underground report of April 1942 specifying that no 
Jews ever left Belzec 269 , (3) a follow up note of the BuF desk on the deportations as well as 
(4) the well known diary entry of Joseph Goebbels of March 27, 1942. 

The follow-up note, dated March 20, 1942 and compiled by the head of the BuF desk, 
Dr. Richard Turk, records a conversation between Hofle and two county captains, 
Weienmeyer of Zamosc and Dr. Schmidt of Krasnystaw, on the deportations: 

Kreishauptmann Weienmeyer has as yet been able to learn nothing about final 
outcome of the deportation; all that is known is the existence of a collection camp 
some distance from the Belzec train station on the district border that is entirely 
closed off and the arrival of a SS-commando of some 60 men. 270 

From this note it is clear that Hofle was being less than forthcoming about the exact 

fate of the deportees once they reached Belzec. This was spelled out more clearly a week 

later in Goebbels' diary: 

Beginning with Lublin, the Jews in the General Government are now being 
evacuated eastward. The procedure is a pretty barbaric one and not to be 
described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews. On the whole 
it can be said that about 60 per cent of them will have to be liquidated whereas 
only about 40 per cent can be used for forced labor. 

The former Gauleiter of Vienna, who is to carry this measure through, is doing it 
with considerable circumspection and according to a method that does not attract 
too much attention. A judgment is being visited upon the Jews that, while 
barbaric, is fully deserved by them. The prophesy which the Fiihrer made about 
them for having brought on a new world war is beginning to come true in a most 
terrible manner. One must not be sentimental in these matters. If we did not fight 
the Jews, they would destroy us. It's a life-and-death struggle between the Aryan 
race and the Jewish bacillus. No other government and no other regime would 
have the strength for such a global solution of this question. Here, too, the Fiihrer 
is the undismayed champion of a radical solution necessitated by conditions and 



MGK, Sobibor, p.297. 

See section 'Mattogno's 'Resettlement' Shell Game' below 

See Chapter 1. 

270 Innere Verwaltung, U.Abt BuF, Vermerk, 20.3.1942, gez. Turk, APL GDL 273, p.35. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

therefore inexorable. Fortunately a whole series of possibilities presents itself for 
us in wartime that would be denied us in peacetime. We shall have to profit by 

The ghettoes that will be emptied in the cities of the General Government now 
will be refilled with Jews thrown out of the Reich. This process is to be repeated 
from time to time. There is nothing funny in it for the Jews, and the fact that 
Jewry's representatives in England and America are today organizing and 
sponsoring the war against Germany must be paid for dearly by its representatives 
in Europe - and that's only right. 271 

In previous exchanges, Mattogno has tried to claim that 'liquidate' here only means 
'resettle', a gambit whose desperation is so transparent it could be photographed and placed 
next to the thesaurus definition of 'child caught with his hand in the cookie jar'. 272 

As is so often the case, Mattogno 's exotic hermeneutics of the Reuter file note and 
Goebbels diary from March 1942 founder on his predilection for ignoring other sources and 
misunderstanding the actual context in which documents were produced. But the hole he has 
dug for himself only deepens when we consider a range of sources which record an escalation 
of Nazi extermination policy in the summer of 1942. The background to this acceleration has 
been well portrayed by Christian Gerlach in an important essay on the significance of food 
policy for the extermination of the Jews in Poland and Ukraine during 1942. 273 Meanwhile, 
Christopher Browning re-examined the other side to the same coin in the light of Gerlach' s 
findings, in an essay outlining the development of Nazi Jewish forced labour policy in the 
Generalgouvernement. 274 Both authors refer back to a core chain of documents which have 
been repeatedly examined by several generations of historians starting with Raul Hilberg and 
Hanns von Krannhals in the early 1960s and continuing through the work of Ulrich Herbert 
and Bogdan Musial through to the current younger generation of researchers. 275 Some of the 
documents have not only been cited a dozen times or more in the literature, but even appear 

271 TBJG 11/3, p.561 (27.3.1942). In all likelihood, Goebbels learned of the plans for the Lublin district from the 
governor, Zorner, an old acquaintance of his. Cf. Czeslaw Madajczyk, 'Hitler's Direct Influence on Decisions 
Affecting Jews During World War II', YVS 20, 1990, pp.53-68, here p.59. 

172 Mattogno, Belzec e le controversie olocaustiche, pp. 59-60, here citing back to Mattogno, Hilberg, pp. 38-39. 
His other obfuscations of this diary entry, as seen for example in Mattogno, 'Denying Evidence', p. 259, have 
been dealt with in Chapter 2. 

273 Christian Gerlach, 'Die Bedeutung der deutscher Ernahrungspolitik fur die Beschleunigung des Mordes an 
den Juden 1942. Das Generalgouvernement und die Westukraine' in: Krieg, Erndhrung, Volkermord. 
Forschungen zur deutschen Vernichtungspolitik im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1998. 

274 Christopher R. Browning, Nazi Policy, Jewish Workers, German Killers. Cambridge: Cambridge University 
Press, 2000, p.75ff. 

275 Hilberg, Vernichtung, Bd.2, pp. 550-570; Hanns von Krannhals, 'Die Judenvernichtung in Polen und der 
Wehrmacht', Wehrwissenschaftiiche Rundschau 15, 1965, pp. 571-81; Herbert, 'Labour and Extermination'; 
Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, pp. 273-280; Schwindt, Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager Majdanek, 
pp. 122-144; Seidel, Deutsche Besatzungspolitik, pp. 333-6. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

in some of Mattogno's acknowledged sources, such as the Faschismus-Getto-Massenmord 
collection. Yet all are ignored. 

The second phase of Aktion Reinhard took place against the backdrop of a major 
internal debate with the occupation authorities, between the SS, civil administration and 
Wehrmacht, regarding the conflicting priorities of food and labour. The GG was put under 
pressure by both the agricultural and armaments ministries at this time, so that the debate 
often extended beyond the confines of the Generalgouvernement itself. The State Secretary 
for Agriculture, Herbert Backe, who had not only Goring's but Hitler's ear, declared in June 
1942 that "in the GG there are still 3.5 million Jews. Poland should already be sanitised this 
year." 276 

The problem that such a remark poses for Mattogno's "resettlement thesis" lies in the 
fact that Backe was intensely concerned with the exploitation of agriculture in the occupied 
Soviet territories, and had been one of the architects of the 'Hunger Plan' as well as one of 
the Nazi civil servants most implacably opposed to feeding Soviet POWs in 1941. 277 Despite 
the mass starvation of more than 2 million POWs in the winter of 1941-2, rations for 
labouring prisoners of war in the Reich were only grudgingly raised, and the scales fixed for 
the newly arriving Ostarbeiter deported from the occupied Soviet Union were also miserly. 278 
Both German civilian and military rations were cut in May 1942. "Before we starve," 
Goebbels had noted in May after a meeting with Backe and Himmler, "a series of other 
peoples will be first, and indeed those whose governments forced us into this war." This 
principle was rigorously applied. "If there must be hunger, then first the foreigners will 
starve," an army official noted Goring saying on August 6. 279 

Goring's pronouncement was made at two major meetings involving representatives 
from all of the occupied territories as well as the Gauleiter in the Reich. 280 The immediate 

276 Chef Wi Z, Aktenvermerk iiber die Besprechung bei Staatssekretar Backe am 23.6.42 mit den 
landwirtschaftlichen Sachbearbeitern der besetzten Gebiete, 24.6.42, NARA T77/419/1689242, also NI-6194. 

277 See Chapters 2 and 4. 

278 See the paper trail documenting a litany of complaints from production side officials and officers in Rii III, 
Vortrag von Min.Dir. Mansfeld, GBA, iiber allgemeine Fragen des Arbeitseinsatzes, 20.2.42, NARA 
T77/1059/1123, also 1201-PS. Cf. Rosenberg an Keitel, Betr: Kriegsgefangene, 28.2.42, 081-PS; Rii IV(d), 
Vermerk betr. Ernahrung der russischen Kriegsgef. und Zivilarbeiter, 10.3.42 (Entwurf), NARA 
T77/1059/1090-1; cf. Herbert, Hitler's Foreign Workers, p. 173. 

279 TBJG II/4, 24.5.42, p.353ff; OKW/Chef WR, Vermerk, 7.8.42, gez. Lehmann, T77/519/1689451-2. Backe 
also met with Hitler in May and July 1942 to discuss the food situation. Cf. Vermerk Ministerialdirektors 
Riecke fur Herrn Staatssekretar Backe zum Vortrag beim Fiihrer, 3.5.42, T77/1170/783-5; Bormann-Tagebuch, 
8-9.5.42, 5.7.42, IWM AL 1488/2, pp.84, 87. 

280 Stenographischer Bericht iiber die Besprechung des Reichsmarschalls Goring mit den Reichskommissaren 
fur die besetzten Gebiete und den Militarbefehlshabern iiber die Ernahrunglage, 6.8.42, USSR-170, IMT 39, pp. 
384-412; OKW/Chef WR, Vermerk, 7.8.42, gez Lehmann, T77/519/1689451-2; Haider, KTB III, p.503 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

outcome was the raising of agricultural requisitioning quotas everywhere in Eastern Europe, 
including the Generalgouvernement. The Nazis were quite clear that they could not raise 
rations for the labouring population in the occupied Soviet territories. 281 Extreme difficulties 
also accompanied the feeding of the armaments workforce in the Generalgouvernement. 282 
Thus when Goring' s quotas arrived in August 1942, they led the civil administration of the 
Generalgouvernement to decide to exclude all but labouring Jews from the meagre ration 
scales. As Hans Frank declared on August 24: 283 

The feeding of a Jewish population component, estimated heretofore at 1.6 
million, drops off to an estimated total of 300,000 Jews, who still work for 
German interests as craftsmen or otherwise. For these the Jewish rations, 
including certain special allotments which have proved necessary for the 
maintenance of working capacity, will be retained. The other Jews, a total of 1.2 
million, will no longer be provided with foodstuffs. 

Confirmation of this decision can be found in the revealing reports of a representative 

of the Party Chancellery attached to a manpower comb-out commission that was touring the 

Generalgouvernement at this time. "It is planned from 1 January to give the Jews no more 

food at all and to reduce the rations for Poles considerably, and no longer to allot any 

increases for armaments workers." 284 In the 1942/3 harvest year, the GG delivered its largest 

ever quotas of agricultural requisitions: 





Deliveries to Reich 

600,000 tons 

280,000 tons 

35,000 tons 

Deliveries to Wehrmacht 

150,000 tons 

244,000 tons 

26,460 tons 

Priority Workers 

200,000 tons 

813,000 tons 

30,000 tons 

Rest of Population 

230,000 tons 

246,000 tons 


In the wake of the deportation and mass murder of the Jews, the food situation 
continued to be so poor that the Nazi authorities contemplated excluding hundreds of 

(11.8.42); on the former TBJG II/5, 6.8.42, pp.257ff; Speer-Chronik, 5.8.42, p.60, BA 3/1736; Bormann- 
Tagebuch, 5-6.8.42, p.87, IWM AL 1488/2. 

281 OKH/GenStdH/GenQu I/IVa, Ernahrung der Zivilbevolkerung in den besetzten Ostgebieten, 3.8.42, gez. 
Wagner, NA T77/1196/627-8; this was reiterated in later directives ordering that seedstocks, Wehrmacht 
deliveries took priority over the feeding of the civilian population. Der Reichsmarschall des Grossdeutschen 
Reiches Beauftr, VJP VP 18717/3/6g, Verteilung landwirtschaftlicher Erzeugnisse in den besetzten Ostgebieten, 
1.12.42, NAT77/1170/874. 

282 Diensttagebuch, pp.524-5 (15.7.42) 

283 Diensttagebuch, p.549 (Regierungssitzung of 24.8.42). 

284 Beauftragter des Reichsleiters Bormann im OKW-Stab zbV, Bericht Nr. 4 (Distrikt Krakau), 27.8.42, BA NS 
6/795, pp. 155-6; further confirmation of the reduction in rations and the worries of the Nazi authorities over the 
black market can be found in Bericht iiber die Sitzung des Verwaltungsrats der Reichskreditkassen am 5.10.42, 
7.10.42, BA R29/4, p.l60ff. 

285 Der Beauftragte fur den Vierjahresplan Geschaftsgruppe Ernahrung, Lieferverpflichtungen des 
Generalgouvernements im IV. Kriegswirtschaftsjahr, 12.12.42, BA NS 19/1995, pp. 176-7. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

thousands of Poles from the ration lists, a plan which was only abandoned because of the 
realisation that the numerically dominant Polish civilian population would probably revolt if 
it were enforced. 286 

Let us be quite clear on the implications of these documents. They utterly refute the 
'Revisionist' contention that Nazi policy intended only to 'resettle' Jews to the occupied 
Soviet territories by making it perfectly obvious that any such 'resettlement' deportations 
would have resulted in fifty Belsens, as the mass starvation of Soviet POWs in the winter of 
1941-2 was repeated. The declaration that non-working Jews would no longer be fed spelled 
out a death sentence for over 1.2 million Jews come what may. That Mattogno and his 
cohorts have hitherto utterly ignored these sources goes without saying; the only question is 
whether they possess even a residual amount of honesty and can acknowledge that genocide 
was the inevitable outcome of Nazi Jewish policy in Poland. For it makes absolutely no 
difference morally or historically whether Polish Jews died in gas chambers or because of 
deliberate starvation. Therefore, the Revisionist "resettlement thesis", as we will explain 
further in Chapter 4, drives the Holocaust deniers into a cul-de-sac from which there is no 
logical escape. 

At the same time as the food situation made itself felt on Nazi Jewish policy, the 
Generalgouvernement was placed under pressure from the Armaments Ministry to increase 
munitions production. From July 1942 onwards, the 'armaments border' for investment of 
capital and plant was extended to include the GG. 287 The planning calculations of both the 
Wehrmacht's Armaments Inspectorate under Lieutenant-General Maximilian Schindler as 
well as the civil administration had since the spring of 1942 rested on the assumption that 
Jews fit for work would be retained and not deported. In May 1942, the military authorities 
had even hoped to replace Polish and Ukrainian workers deported to Germany with Jewish 
workers. 288 The drive to deport the Jews which began in its full fury during July 1942 with 
the Warsaw ghetto action and the subsequent actions in the provincial districts threatened to 

286 Besprechung mit Herrn Miiller, Stubaf Pehle, Bevollmachtigte des REM und dem Leiter der Hauptabteilung 
EuL in der Regierung des GG, Herrn Prasidenten Naumann, am 13.1.43, 15.1.43, gez. SS-Ogruf Kriiger, BA 
NS19/2648, pp.98-9; Diensttagebuch, pp.573-4, 592, 598-9 (20.11.42, 14.12.42, 25.1.43); cf. Gerlach, 
'Bedeutung des deutschen Ernahrungspolitik', pp. 247-8. 

287 Der Fiihrer und Reichskanzler, Erlass betr.: Industrieverlagerung nach dem Protektorat, dem 
Generalgouvernement, und den besetzten Ostgebieten unter Federfuhrung des Reichsministers Speer, 28.6.1942, 
BA R43 II/655a; cf. Diensttagebuch, pp.524-5 (15.7.42). 

288 MiG OQu/Qu.2, Einsatz judischer Facharbeiter, 9.5.42, NA T501/220/843. On the deportation of Polish 
workers to Germany, see Czeslaw Luczak, Polscy robotnicy przymusowi w Treciej Rzeszy podczas II wojny 
swiatowej, Poznan 1974. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

upset the calculations of the military planners. In the course of negotiations between the 

Wehrmacht and SS, the military was told in mid- August that 


No commitment can be given to leave the Jews working for the Wehrmacht until 
the end of the war. According to the opinion of the Reichsmarschall, the idea that 
the Jews are irreplaceable should be got away from. Neither the Armaments 
Inspectorate nor the other departments will keep their Jews until the end of the 
war. The orders are clear and hard. They were valid not only for the 
Generalgouvernement, but for all occupied territories. 

The clash of interests between the Wehrmacht and the SS had already led to open 

conflicts between Army officers and representatives of SSPF Krakau, as occurred when 

Captain Battel barred the way to an SS detachment seeking to begin deportations from the 


ghetto in Przemysl in July 1942. Continued protests saw the Wehrmacht commander in the 


Generalgouvernement, General von Gienanth, forcibly retired at the start of October 1942. 
Immediately afterwards, OKW issued an order regarding the 'replacement of Jewish labour 
by Aryan labour in the Generalgouvernement and occupied eastern territories', in other words 
applying not only to the GG but also to the occupied Soviet Union. In this directive, the 
Wehrmacht was informed that henceforth, labouring Jews could only be tolerated in camps 
under the control of the SS, "yet, there, too, one day the Jews are to disappear in accordance 
with the Fiihrer's wish." 292 In a parallel directive to Globocnik, Kriiger and Oswald Pohl, 
Himmler used identical language. To give the German version: "auch dort sollen eines Tages 
dem Wunsche des Fiihrers entsprechend die Juden verschwinden." 293 

It is thus instructive that the director of agriculture for the Generalgouvernement, 
Neumann, protocolled a meeting with SS-Brigadefuhrer Katzmann, SSPF Galizien, in early 
August 1942 which demonstrated how the Nazi authorities intended to balance the competing 
demands of food and labour requirements. According to Neumann, "within half a year there 
would be no more free Jews in the Generalgouvernement. The people will be partly out- 
settled (ausgesiedelf), partly brought to camps. The few Jews living in the countryside would 
be killed (umgebrachf) by detachments. The Jews concentrated in the towns would be partly 

289 Vermerk MiG/OQu, 15.8.42, NARA T501/2 16/923-6, also in Grabitz/Scheffler, Letzte Spuren, p.308ff. 

290 Aktenvermerk Stabsfiihrer SSPF Krakau, Fellenz, 27.7.42, BA NS19/1765, also published in Longerich (ed), 
Ermordung, p.202ff; cf. Kommander des OKW-Stabes zbV/Sonderbeauftragter des Fiihrers, Bericht Nr 8 
Przemysl, 25.8.42, BA NS6/794, p.32ff; on Battel's resistance see also Seev Goshen, 'Albert Battels Widerstand 
gegen die Judenvemichtung in Przemysl', VfZ 33, 1985, pp. 478-488; Norbert Haas, 'Oberleutnant Dr. Albert 
Battel und Major Max Liedtke. Konfrontation mit der SS im polnischen Przemysl im Juli 1942' in Wette (ed), 
Retter im Uniform, pp. 188-190. 

291 For the letter of protest, see Gienanth an Keitel, 18.9.42, NARA T501/216/350-2, also in FGM, pp.44-6; for 
his retirement, see KTB MiG OQu/Qu.2, 1.10.1942, NARA T501/219/452. 

292 OKW, WFSt/Qu (II), Nr 02847/42 geh., Replacement of Jewish Labour by Aryan Labour in the Government 
General and the Occupied Eastern Territories, 10.10.42, NOKW-134, Case 12, PDB 9C, pp.246-7. 

293 Himmler an Kriiger, Globocnik, Pohl, 9.10.42, BA NS19/352, pp.11-12, also NO-1611. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

liquidated, partly out-settled and partly in labour camps." 294 The fiction of 'resettlement' is 
already exposed by the fact that Jews in rural areas were to be "killed" and that part of the 
urban Jewish population was to be "liquidated". Pace Mattogno, this document cannot be 
used as proof of his 'resettlement' thesis. 295 The selection process was even more clearly 
spelled out by none other than Adolf Eichmann during the abortive planning of the 
deportation of Romanian Jews to the Lublin district. "It is planned to bring the Jews from 
Romania, beginning around September 10 1942, in ongoing transports to the Lublin district, 
where the able-bodied part will be set to work, and the rest subjected to special treatment 
(Sonderbehandlung)." 296 

Having demonstrated that the paper trail for both food and labour policy contains 
unmistakeably genocidal utterances, it remains only to present documents which confirm this 
and link the motivations to the methods. One such document, a letter from Victor Brack, head 
of T4, to Heinrich Himmler on 23 June 1942, has long been regarded as a smoking gun 
proving both intentions and methods. 297 Until Sobibor, Mattogno had more or less shied 
away from confronting this particular hot potato; it almost goes without saying that his 
acknowledgement in his latest work on the Reinhard camps is half-hearted, with the letter 
selectively cited. Rather than offer his disciples a badly needed explanation of the whole of 
the document, Mattogno chooses to cite only the first two lines. 298 

On instruction from Reichsleiter Bouhler I placed a part of my men at the 
disposal of Brigadefuhrer Globocnik some considerable time ago for his special 
task. Following a further request from him, I have now made available more 
personnel. On this occasion Brigadefuhrer Globocnik pressed the view that the 
whole action against the Jews should be carried out as quickly as it is in any way 
possible, so that we will not some day be stuck in the middle should any kind of 
difficulty make it necessary to stop the action, you yourself, Herr Reichsfiihrer, 
expressed the view to me at an earlier time that one must work as fast as possible, 
if only for reasons of concealment. Both views are more than justified according 
to my own experience, and basically they produce the same results. Nevertheless 
I beg to be permitted to present the following consideration of my own in this 

294 Pohl, Ostgalizien, p.212, citing DALO R-35-12-42, p. 70, Vermerk Neumann, 6.8.42. 

295 M&G, Treblinka, pp. 265-66, especially p. 266. 'Out-settlement' (Aussiedlung) in the evolving Nazi jargon 
referred to deportations out of a district or to the extermination camps. 'Resettlement' (Umsiedlung) could be 
used as a euphemism to paper over mass shootings, as we have seen with an order for the 'resettlement' of the 
Slutsk ghetto whose inmates were apparently 'resettled' into 'graves' alongside which SS detachments were to 
work while bein supplied by 'givers out of rounds' responsible for 'supplying ammunition'. Thus, the Katzmann 
report's well known reference to the 'out- or resettlement' of 434,000 Jews refers to deportations 
(outsettlements) and shootings (resettlements). Cf. Katzmann-Bericht, 30.6.1943, L-18. 

296 Rinteln to Luther, 19.8.42, in Anlage Eichmann report of 26.7.42, NG-3985, also T/1023; cf. Hilberg 
Vernichtung , p. 845; Longerich, Holocaust, p. 366. 

297 Brack an Himmler, 23.6.1942, BA NS19/1583, p.16, also NO-205. 

298 MGK, Sobibor, p.271. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

According to my impression there are at least 2-3 million men and women well fit 
for work among the approx. 10 million European Jews. In consideration of the 
exceptional difficulties posed for us by the question of labor, I am of the opinion 
that these 2-3 million should in any case be taken out and kept alive. Of course 
this can only be done if they are in the same time rendered incapable of 
reproduction. I reported to you about a year ago that persons under my instruction 
have completed the necessary experiments for this purpose. I wish to bring up 
these facts again. The type of sterilization which is normally carried out on 
persons with genetic disease is out of the question in this case, as it takes too 
much time and is expensive. Castration by means of X-rays, however, is not only 
relatively cheap, but can be carried out on many thousands in a very short time. I 
believe that it has become unimportant at the present time whether those affected 
will then in the course of a few weeks or months realize by the effects that they 
are castrated. 

As with so many other sources, the document cannot be read as indicating anything 
other than a plan of mass murder, a plan which Brack was vainly hoping he could modify by 
recommending the sterilisation of 2-3 million Jews who were to be kept alive as labourers. 
That Brack also refers to the urgency of a rapid implementation "if only for reasons of 
concealment" is also highly revealing of the motivations behind the acceleration of 
extermination in the early summer of 1942. The fact that Brack had placed men from T4 "at 
the disposal" of Globocnik for "his special task" which was "the whole action against the 
Jews" cannot be read, as Mattogno would have us believe, as indicating that the 
'resettlement' deportations would be accompanied by a handful of mercy killings. 299 Not 
when the document you so shamelessly selectively cited refers unmistakeably to the planned 
deaths of up to 10 million Jews. 

We anticipate that now that Mattogno has been caught out yet again, he will invent a 
further fanciful explanation or simply reiterate his previous argument, despite the fact that it 
has just been blown out of the water. But as is so often the case, Mattogno is evidently 
unaware that there is another source, discovered by Christian Gerlach, which argues along 
extremely similar lines. On July 10, 1942, Philipp Bouhler, another key figure in the T4 
euthanasia program, wrote to Martin Bormann and stated that he had made available 
personnel to Himmler "for a solution of the Jewish question going down to the final 
consequence" (fur eine bis in die letzte Konsequenz gehende Losung der Judenfrage). 300 
Once again, the negationists are faced with a source which makes it clear that the Final 
Solution was meant to be just that. 

299 MGK, Sobibor, pp.268-281. 

300 Gerlach, 'Bedeutung der deutschen Ernahrungspolitik', p. 214, citing Bormann an Bouhler, 10.7.1941, BA 62 
Ka 1, Nr.83, Bl. 109. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

Whereas during the deportations, Nazi authorities tended to euphemise their actions 
somewhat more, towards the end of 1942, as the second phase of Aktion Reinhard drew to a 
close, a number of civilian officials and SS officers dropped all pretenses towards 
camouflaging their intentions. In November 1942, the county captain of Stanislawow, 
Albrecht, announced in a speech that "Jewry in Europe has been largely destroyed in the 
course of this year while defending the life of Aryan peoples. The last remnants will also 
disappear in the near future." 301 On December 1, 1942, the chief medical officer of Warsaw, 
Dr Wilhelm Hagen, wrote a personal letter to Hitler protesting against the resettlements of 
Poles in the Zamosc region, stating that the deportations appeared to "proceed as with the 
Jews, that is, to kill them." 302 This was ironically and laconically answered in roundabout 
form when SS-Untersturmfuhrer Heinrich Kinna, accompanying a deportation transport from 
Zamosc that reached Auschwitz on December 10, 1942, was told by SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer 
Aumeier that "according to the guideline of the RSHA, in contrast to the measures applied to 
the Jews, Poles must die a natural death." 303 The day before, Hans Frank declared to a cabinet 
meeting that: 304 

It is clear that the work process is made more difficult when in the midst of this 
labour program, the order comes, leave all Jews to annihilation. The 
responsibility for this does not belong with the government of the 
Generalgouvernement. The directive for the annihilation of the Jews comes from 
a higher authority. 

These sources alone make a mockery of Mattogno's torturous attempt to explain away 

the deeply inconvenient reference to Sonderbehandlung which was partially edited out of the 

famous Korherr report at Himmler's behest. 305 This exegesis is sufficiently tedious that 

readers are invited to look it up for themselves to experience the full joy of watching 

Mattogno flail around with statistics while failing to notice that his argument rests on a 

flawed premise. For the statistics in the Korherr report are manifestly a compilation of 

materials gathered from separate agencies then synthesised into one document. The most 

salient figure for our purposes is, of course, the statistic of 1,274,166 Jews who were "sluiced 

through the camps in the Generalgouvernement" in the process of being transported to "the 

301 Pohl, Ostgalizien, p. 233, citing DAIFO R-36-1-17, pp.24-32, Rede Albrechts an die Arbeitseinsatzstaebe im 
Kreis Stanislau, 2.11.42. 

302 Stadtarzt Warschau an Hitler, 7.12.1942, BA NS19/1210, also AIPN NTN 412, p.31 cf. Aly/Heim, Vordenker 
der Vernichtung, p. 217. Hagen was, of course, sacked for daring to make such a protest to Hitler himself. 

303 SS-Ustuf Heinrich Kinna, Bericht zu dem Transport von 644 Polen nach dem Arbeitslager Auschwitz am 
10.12.42, Zamosc, den 16.12.42, AIPN NTN 131, p.210, also T/382. On the context of the Zamosc deportations, 
and also for a further facsimile of the document, see Helena Kubica, The Extermination at KL Auschwitz of 
Poles Evicted from the Zamosc Region in the Years 1942-43. Oswiecim, 2006 (Polish original: 2004) 

304 Diensttagebuch, p.137 (9.12.42). 

305 MGK, Sobibor, pp.31 1-330. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Russian east". 306 As however we possess a letter from Himmler to Korherr telling him to 
replace 'Sonderbehandlung of the Jews' with the cover-phrase, the document is considered an 
unmistakeable example of Nazi attempts to camouflage and euphemise their crimes; doubly 
so, as 'special treatment' is itself a euphemism. 307 Naturally, Mattogno soon finds a way to 
mistake this example for something else entirely, ignoring the fundamental logical problem 
that if Sonderbehandlung is as he believes, a benign term, then why is it being covered up? 308 
The provenance of the statistic of 1,274,166 Jews has for some time been quite clear: 
it was radioed from SSPF Lublin to the BdS in Krakow and also copied to Eichmann at the 
RSHA IV B 4 office. 309 This signal, the so-called Hofle telegram, identified the 'intake' or 
'increase' (Zugang) of "Einsatz Reinhart" for the last fortnight of 1942 and for the whole 

Betr: 14-tagige Meldung Einsatz Reinhart. Bezug: dort. FS. Zugang bis 31.12.41: 
L 12761, B 0, S 515, T 10355 zusammen 23611. Stand... 31.12.42, L 24733, B 
434508, S 101370, T 71355, Zusammen 1274166 

The signal's reference to 'L', 'B', 'S' and 'T' are unmistakeably references to 

Majdanek (Lublin), Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, a logical interpretation to which 

Mattogno, Graf and Kues have given their assent. Yet the fact that the signal speaks only of a 

'Zugang' and not a 'Durchgang' - transit - does not faze them. Mattogno's chief line of 

attack is to query the significance of the inclusion of Majdanek in the signal and then to 

speculate wildly about the implications. Contrary to the initial interpretation of Stephen Tyas 

and Peter Witte, the most reasonable inference is that that the fortnightly report of 12,761 

does not refer to any kind of transports arriving at Majdanek at all, but is simply a 

retrospective report of earlier arrivals. 310 A probable interpretation is that the figure of 12,761 

refers to the number of Polish Jews deported to Majdanek, while 11,972 Jews from the Reich 

and Slovakia were deported, for a total of 24,733 Jews taken into the camp. No amount of 

306 Korherr-Bericht, 19.4.43, NO-5193, online at 

307 Der Reichsfuhrer-SS an den Inspekteur fur Statisik, PG. Korherr, 10.4.43, NO-5197. 

308 We leave aside for later sport and amusement the other problem with Mattogno's gibberish on special 
treatment, namely the remarkable capacity for the term Sonderbehandlung to mutate at will according to his 
peculiar needs, as it appears in his eyes to mean sometimes 'resettlement' and sometimes 'delousing', 
interpretations which end up being mutually incompatible and logically incoherent. 

309 SSPF Lublin an BdS Krakau, 11.1.43, GPDD 355a, items 13/15, PRO HW 16/22. Item 13 of same GPDD 
was addressed 'Geheime Reichssache! An das Reichssicherheitshauptamt, zu Handen SS Obersturmfuhrer 
Eichmann, Berlin... rest missed!!!'. For the context, see Witte/Tyas, 'New Document', further also Nicholas 
Terry, 'Conflicting Signals: British Intelligence on the 'Final Solution' through Radio Intercepts and Other 
Sources, 1941-1942', YVS XXXII, 2004, pp. 351-396, esp. pp. 391-3, discussing the Bletchley Park analysis of 
the signal. 

310 Cf. Tomasz Kranz, 'Eksterminacja Zydow na Majdanku i rola obozu w realizacji „Akcji Reinhardt",', 
Zeszyty Majdanka 2003, t.XXIII, pp. 7-56; even more explicitly Schwindt, Konzentrations- und 
Vernichtungslager Majdanek, pp. 183-6. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

contortions or gyrations can magic up a significantly higher total for the number of Jews 
deported to Majdanek in 1942. 

However, it is clear that the total was somewhat higher. The Korherr report also 
contains a separate set of statistics evidently provided by the WVHA for the number of Jews 
taken into the concentration camp system, figures which manifestly exclude the 'special 
transports' to Auschwitz and are also claimed to exclude the similar transports to 
Majdanek. 311 This statistic gives a figure of 26,528 Jews deported to Majdanek, 1,525 higher 
than the figure in the Hofle telegram. But it is quite obvious that the two figures originated 
from different agencies, one from SSPF Lublin, and one from KL Lublin passed on via the 
WVHA. We also don't know when the WVHA passed on its statistics to IV B 4 to give to 
Korherr. Given that there is a manifestly belated report of 12,761 Jews for a fortnight in 
which no Jews are recorded as arriving at Majdanek at all, it is quite probable that the WVHA 
figure of 26,528 is a corrected figure compiled in the weeks or even months after the Hofle 
telegram was sent on January 11, 1943. The claim in the Korherr report that the statistics for 
Jews in the concentration camps exclude "Jews sheltered in the course of the evacuation 
actions" at Majdanek is evidently false. 

Paying attention to the reporting mechanisms allows us to ignore Mattogno's main 
gambit of kicking up a fuss over the inclusion of Jews deported to Majdanek who were 
evidently registered in a statistic relating to their 'special treatment'. 312 But this fuss-making 
ignores the fact that the Hofle telegram said nothing about Sonderbehandlung, only about 
'Zugang'. By the time this information reached Korherr's desk, all context was lost. As far as 
Korherr and his masters at RSHA IV B 4 were concerned, the Jews had been 
Sonderbehandelt. It was evidently a matter of indifference to them that the majority of the 
'intake' at Majdanek had not been killed on arrival, just as it was probably wholly unknown 
to IV B that a certain proportion of the deportees to Treblinka and Sobibor had been selected 
for labour in Treblinka I and for the labour camps orbiting Sobibor. 

Indeed, much the same slippage can be demonstrated for another 'inconvenient' 
balance sheet, the well known Report No 51 on Antipartisan Warfare submitted by Himmler 
for Hitler's attention during December 1942. This report accounted for SS and Police 
operations in the regions of Russia-South, Ukraine and Bialystok, the territories controlled by 
Adolf Priitzmann, HSSPF in both Konigsberg (covering the Bialystok district) and Kiev 
(covering both the Reichskommissariat Ukraine and the rear areas of Army Group B, 

311 Korherr-Bericht, 19.4.43, NO-5193 

312 MGK, Sobibor, p.319ff. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

formerly South) from August through November 1942, a period of four months. 313 Alongside 
reporting bodycounts of 1,337 partisans killed in action and 22,822 partisans and partisans 
suspects executed after capture or arrest, the so-called Meldung 51 also baldly recorded that 
363,211 Jews had been "executed" (Juden exekutiert). As we have seen in Chapter 2, the 
killings that took place during this period largely encompassed the slaughter of Jews in 
Volhynia and the Polesie, regions of eastern Poland which both came under the 
Generalkommissariat Wolhynien-Podolien. However, the month by month statistics as well 
as the known actions in the individual shtetls and towns of this region make it clear that the 
figure of 363,211 Jews also includes many Jews who were deported from the Bialystok 
district to Treblinka and Auschwitz starting in November 1942. 314 In both of these statistical 
documents, therefore, the Nazis explicitly wrote off 'deported' Jews as dead, regardless of 
whether they were killed immediately on arrival or not. 

The reactions of the leading Nazis to the progression of their Jewish policy and its 
results by 1943 confirms that Mattogno's wayward interpretation is nonsense. On March 2, 
1943, Goebbels noted in his diary that it was "perfectly clear as to what would threaten us if 
we were to become weak in this war... especially in the Jewish question, we are so 
determined that there is no way back. And that's a good thing. A movement and a people 
which have burnt its bridges behind itself, fights according to experience more 
unconditionally than those who still have the possibility of retreat." 315 Hitler similarly 
informed the Romanian dictator Marshal Antonescu on April 16, 1943 that he "preferred to 
burn all bridges behind himself, as the hatred of the Jews was gigantic anyway." There was 
"no going back on this path once it was chosen". 316 To Admiral Horthy, Hitler opined shortly 
thereafter that: 317 

Where the Jews were left to themselves, as for example in Poland, gruesome 
poverty and degeneracy had ruled. They were just pure parasites. One had 
fundamentally cleared up this state of affairs in Poland. If the Jews there didn't 
want to work, they were shot. If they couldn't work, they had to perish. They had 
to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, from which a healthy body could be 
infected. That was not cruel, if one remembered that even innocent natural 
creatures like hares and deer had to be killed so that no harm was caused. Why 
should one spare the beasts who wanted to bring us Bolshevism more? Nations 
who did not rid themselves of Jews perished. 

313 Der Reichsfiihrer-SS, Meldungen an den Fiihrer iiber Bandenbekampfung, Meldung Nr. 51 Russland-Siid, 
Ukraine, Bialystok. Bandenbekampfungserfolge vom 1.9 bis 1.12.42, 23.12.42, NO-511. 

314 Kruglov, 'Jewish Losses in Ukraine, 1941-1944' comes to a similar conclusion. 

315 TBJG II/7, p.454 (2.3.43). 

316 Hillgruber (ed), Staatsmanner und Diplomaten, p. 233 (16.4.43). 

317 Hillgruber (ed), Staatsmanner und Diplomaten, p. 256; also ADAP, Ser. E, Bd. 5, p. 632. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

On the ground in Galicia, the results of treating Jews "like tuberculosis bacilli" were 
all too apparent to the local Ukrainian and Polish populations. In February 1943, the head of 
the Ukrainian Main Committee in the Generalgouvernement, Professor Kubijowtsch 
complained to Frank that "the view is current that now the shootings of the Jews come to an 
end those of the Ukrainians begin." 318 Kreishauptmann Dewitz, the county captain of Stryj in 
Galicia, reported in June 1943 that: 319 

The expulsion of the Jews has so far led to a concern among the Polish population 
that after the cleaning up of the Jewish question the Poles will be next, as a 
rumour spread by the Ukrainian side has it. From the [Ukrainian] population itself 
complains have arisen about the inadequate burial of the Jews. Checks by the 
county medical officer have revealed that some mass graves (einige 
Massengraber) were not actually prepared efficiently, so that due to limited soil 
covering they present a danger for public health. 

By November 1943, complaints about the proliferating mass graves of Galicia were 
also noted because of the curiosity of officers of the Hungarian Royal Honved. As the liaison 
officer of the Foreign Office wrote, "constantly one encounters a strong interest in the Jewish 
question and/or its solution in the area of Galicia. It has been established that Hungarian 
officers take photos of Jewish mass graves to be found in the vicinity of Stanislawow." 320 
Thus had Katzmann's men carried out the 'solution' to the 'Jewish Question' in Galicia, in 
order to "master this pest in the shortest possible time." 321 

The ongoing decimations of the 300,000 Jews who remained alive in the 
Generalgouvernement at the start of 1943 prompted further unrest from the civil 
administration. On May 31, 1943, the HSSPF, Kriiger, indicated that he had 'recently again 
received an order to carry out the dejudaisation in a very short time." Acknowledging that 
many Jews were employed in important armaments work, Kriiger replied to his civilian 
counterparts that "the Reichsfuhrer-SS wished however, that the employment of these Jews 
also ceases." 3n Just under a month later, Hans Frank plaintively asked aloud how he was to 
solve the fundamental contradictions between Nazi ideological goals and economic 

How, it is often asked, can the need to cooperate with an alien culture be 
reconciled with the ideological aim of - say - wiping out the Polish people 

318 Kubijowytsch an Frank, 25.2.43, 1526-PS, NCA IV, pp.79-95. 

319 Pohl, Ostgalizien, p.260 and 320, citing DALO R-1952-1-172, p.83, Lagebericht Kreishauptmann Stryj fuer 
Mai/Juni 1943, 2.7.43, 

320 Bericht des Vertreter des Auswaertigen Amtes beim Generalgouvernement, 23.11.43, NG-3522. 

321 Katzmann-Bericht, 30.6.43, L-18, p. 64. Emphasis in the original. 

322 Diensttagebuch, p.682 (31.5.43); cf. Pohl, Judenpolitik, pp.166-7. 

323 Diensttagebuch, p. 697 (22.6.43); cf. Herbert, 'Labour and Extermination', p. 144; Pohl, Ostgalizien, p. 264. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

(Volkstum)? How is the need to maintain industrial output compatible with the 
need, for example, to annihilate the Jews? 

Frank's audience had no clear answer to this. The Nazi drive to exterminate the Jews 
in Poland was only ever partially "rationalised" by the appeals to pragmatic, economic 
arguments. As the war progressed, many Nazi ideologists appealed more and more to the goal 
of destroying the 'breeding ground' (Keimzelle) of 'world Jewry'. 324 In March 1944, a 
conference of Jewish referents and Aryanisation advisors convened by the Foreign Office 
was told that "the physical elimination of Eastern Jewry deprives Jewry of its biological 
reserves" (Die physische Beseitigung des Ostjudentums entziehe dem Judentum die 
biologischen Reserven.) 32S 

For Himmler, too, the ultimate goal was achieving a biological solution to a racial 
question. His justification of the almost completed genocide at conferences in Posen during 
October 1943 is sufficiently well known not to need further elaboration here. 326 Less well 
known, however, is the reaction of Josef Goebbels to hearing Himmler' s speech at Posen, 
which the Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda summarised in his diary 
as follows: 327 

As far as the Jewish question is concerned, he [Himmler] gives a very 
unvarnished and frank presentation. He is convinced that we can solve the Jewish 
question throughout Europe by the end of this year. He proposes the harshest and 
most radical solution: to exterminate the Jews root and branch [Kind und Kegel]. 
It is certainly a logical solution, even if it is a brutal one. We have to take 
responsibility of completely solving this issue in our time. 

Nine months later, Himmler further justified the extermination of the Jews in a speech 

to Wehrmacht generals at Sonthofen on June 21, 1944. His words are once again, 

unmistakeable: 328 

It was necessary to resolve another big question. It was the most horrible task and 
the most awful assignment that any organization could receive: the solution of the 
Jewish question. I want to say a few words on the matter to this group with 
complete candor. It's good that we had the hardness to exterminate the Jews in our 
territory. Don't ask yourselves how difficult it would have been to carry out such 
an order, even though, as soldiers, I might say you would understand. But 
thinking critically as German soldiers, you can see that the order was essential. 


Cf. Furber/Lower, 'Colonialism and Genocide in Nazi-Occupied Poland and Ukraine', p. 384. 

Auswartiges Amt Inf. XIV Antijiidische Auslandsaktion, Betreff: Arbeitstagung der Judenreferenten und 

Arisierungsberater, 4. Marz 1944, 3319-PS, IMT XXXII, p.166. 

326 1919-PS. 

TBJG 11/10, p. 72; cf. Saul Friedlander, The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945. 
New York: HarperCollins, 2008, p.543. 

328 Bradley F. Smith and Agnes F. Peterson (eds), Heinrich Himmler. Geheimreden 1933 bis 1945. Frankfurt am 
Main, 1974, p.203. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

Because we wouldn't have been able to withstand the aerial bombing if we had 
had the Jews in our cities. I am also convinced we would not have been able to 
hold the Lemberg front of the Generalgouvernement if the big ghettos in 
Lemberg, Krakau, Lublin, and Warsaw had still been there. We cleaned out the 
last one, the big ghetto in Warsaw, in summer 1943. In Warsaw there were 
500,000 Jews. I tell you this number confidentially. It took us five weeks of street 
fighting. Just the same, I want to answer a little question that surely you must 
have. The question is, of course you had to kill the adult Jews, I understand that, 
but how could you do the same to the women and children? So I have to tell you 
something: The children will be grown one day. Do we want to be so improper 
that we say, no, no, we're too weak to kill children. Our children can deal with 
them. Our children will fight that one out. But the Jewish hate, small today, will 
be big tomorrow, and the grown avengers will attack our children and 
grandchildren, who will then have to deal with them. I am convinced that this will 
be the case even if Adolf Hitler does not survive. No, we cannot shirk our 
responsibility to kill all the Jews. That would have been cowardly and therefore 
we adopted a clear solution to the problem, as difficult as it was. 

Further commentary is superfluous. 

Mattogno's 'Resettlement' Shell Game 

Having ignored virtually every source discussed in the preceding section, and after 
deliberately misunderstanding the interplay of labour and extermination, it is unsurprising 
that Mattogno feels he can devote most of his energies to misrepresenting Nazi Jewish policy 
in Poland by presenting a series of documents which he misinterprets as 'proving' a 
resettlement program. That Mattogno deliberately omitted all indicators to the contrary is bad 
enough, but on closer examination, his attempt to construct a chain of documents for 
'resettlement' also falls flat on its face. Firstly, it is immediately striking how little Mattogno 
actually has to say about the fate of Polish Jews. Most of the rumours, false news reports and 
other uncorroborated evidence that Mattogno and his younger associate Kues try to parlay 
into proof of 'resettlement' in fact concerns West European Jews; evidence which will be 
examined in the next chapter. Secondly, as Mattogno's hypothesis meanders over the course 
of 1942-43, it is striking how he is less and less able to find any vague indicators of transfer 
out of the Generalgouvernement. By mid to late 1943, he is in effect reduced to playing a 
shell game whereby the surviving Polish Jews are simply transferred from one part of the 
province to another, simply so that Mattogno can avoid admitting that the 400,000 Jews left 
alive in the GG and Bialystok districts at the start of 1943 were further decimated. 

A more fundamental problem, however, is the constant attempt to pyramid 
extraordinarily vague references to 'resettlement' into hard proof of actual transfer, and the 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

refusal to recognise a euphemism when one is demonstrably used. The contrast with the 
documentation of genuine resettlements in Poland between 1939 and 1941, as well as other 
Nazi evacuation measures, should be manifest. Documents describing actual resettlements 
contain clear and precise references to transfers between point A and point B, or between 
administrative district X and administrative district Y. 329 The glaring absence of any such 
details in the paper trail surrounding the deportations of the Jews in the course of Aktion 
Reinhard during 1942-3 is precisely why historians have ignored 'resettlement' as a fiction. 

Moreover, it is not difficult to find examples of documents where 'resettlement' was 
manifestly being used euphemistically or which referred to the strict secrecy of the task, a 
secrecy which is entirely incompatible with a peaceful population transfer. In late March 
1942, the office of the governor of Galicia noted that the ongoing 'out-settlement' 
(Aussiedlung) of "all dispensable Jews out of Galicia" was a secret state matter (Geheime 
Reichssache). Jews were to be concentrated near rail lines so that they could be moved in 
transports of 1000-1100. At this time, all transports from Galicia headed westwards to 
Belzec, not to the 'Russian East'. 330 In June 1942, SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Kriiger wrote to 
request that Helmuth Pohl, a member of SSPF Lublin and part of Hofle's deportation staff, be 
promoted to an officer of the Waffen-SS as he was engaged "with important tasks in the 
'Jewish Resettlement' desk" (im Referat "Judenumsiedlung"). Inverted commas were used in 
the original. 331 Kriiger referred the SS Personnel Office to a communication written on June 
3, 1942 about the task "Jewish Resettlement" of the Reichsfuhrer-SS, the same day that 
Globocnik presented a 'Jew folder' (Judenmappe) containing his plans for the second phase 
of Aktion Reinhard to Himmler. 332 In September 1943, Kriiger wrote to the HSSPF 
Niederlande, Hanns-Albin Rauter, trying to place Hermann Hofle in a new job after the 
completion of Aktion Reinhard. Stating that Hofle had had to carry out 'special tasks' 
(Sonderauftrage), Kriiger elaborated by explaining that these had above all consisted of the 
'Jew Final Solution Question' (Judenendlosungsfrage), a 'purely confidential matter' (reine 

329 This is perfectly apparent from Gotz Aly, 'Endlosung'. Volkerverschiebung und der Mord an der 
europdischen Juden, Frankfurt am Main, 1995, as well as more recent studies of Nazi resettlement policy such 
as Isabel Heinemann, "Rasse, Siedlung, Deutsche Blut": Das Rasse & Siedlungshauptamt der SS und die 
rassenpolitische Neuordnung Europas, Gottingen: Wallstein, 2003; Philip Rutherford, Prelude to the Final 
Solution: The Nazi Program for Deporting Ethnic Poles, 1939-1941. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 
2007. The contention is also confirmed by examining the records of Wehrmacht evacuation measures conducted 
behind the Eastern Front; cf. in addition to the many studies cited in Chapters 2 and 4, Christian Gerlach, 
'Umsiedlungen und gelenkte Bevolkerungsbewegungen in Weissrussland 1941-1944' in Dahlmann, Dittmar and 
Hirschfeld, Gerhard (eds), Lager, Zwangsarbeit, Vertreibung und Deportation. Dimension der 
Massenverbrechen in der Sowjetunion und in Deutschland 1933 bis 1945. Essen, 1999, pp. 553-565. 

330 Pohl, Ostgalizien, p.189, citing DALO R-37-1-1, Bl. 72, Runderlass GDG/I.V., 24.3.42. 

331 HSSPF Ost, Emennung zu Fuhrern der Waffen-SS, 8.6.1942, gez. Kriiger, BDC SS-OA Helmuth Pohl 

332 SSPF Lubin, 33/42 gRs, Lublin, den 3.6.42, gez. Globocnik, BA NS19/1755, p.2. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

Vertrauenssache) that was also especially demanding. 333 Lower down the chain of command, 
agricultural specialists negotiating with SS officers over the continued use of Jewish forced 
labour on kok-sagys farms in Galicia noted in the spring of 1943 that "hitherto no order from 
Berlin had been given to "resettle" the Jews here" {die hiesigen Juden "umzusiedeln"). 334 

To interpret such documents literally is a sign of nothing other than delusion. It is one 
thing not to realise from the context when euphemisms are being used, quite another not to 
notice inverted commas clearly demarcating the terms from their conventional meaning. As 
in the example from Jagielnica above, the overwhelming majority of uses of the terms 
'evacuation', 'resettlement' and 'outsettlement' in the German documents are entirely 
intransitive, not even making a vague gesture to a fictitious destination. All too often, 
"evacuation" apparently became an end in itself, if we are to apply the kind of literalism that 
Mattogno wants us to apply in so many other cases. 

So desperate is Mattogno to identify any possible exit from the GG for the deported 
Jews that he is not above inventing them, misreading chains of documents to fabricate a 
fictitious continuity out of trial balloons and policy dead ends. A good case in point is the 
repeated exaltation of the Pripyat marshes in southeastern Belorussia as a supposed transfer 
destination. That this was a plan confined entirely to 1941 and never carried out is simply 
ignored by Mattogno, who decontextualises the paper trail by omitting crucial sources 
inconvenient to his fantasy. 

In the spring of 1941, Hans Frank and the civil administration of the 
Generalgouvernement, although hoping for the removal of Jews "within a reasonable space 
of time", still reckoned on the presence of Jews in their domain for the foreseeable future, 
instituting economic planning for the Warsaw ghetto in the expectation that it would exist for 
a further five years. 335 The invasion of the Soviet Union opened up the prospect that the Jews 
of the GG could be expelled eastwards. Indeed, Hans Frank returned from a meeting with 
Hitler on June 19, 1941 with a firm promise that the GG would be the first region to be made 
judenfrei, and would be transformed into "a kind of transit camp". Accordingly, no more 
ghettos were to be created. 336 The "imminent clearing" of the Warsaw ghetto was now on the 
cards. 337 On July 22, Frank declared that he would give "the order to prepare the evacuation 

333 Kriiger an Rauter, 24.9.43, BDC SS-OA Hermann Hofle. 

334 Vermerk. Vorsprache des Herrn Sonderfiihrers Storbeck und des Herrn Lobenberg be idem Adjutanten, SS- 
Ustuf. Inquart, des SS-Gruppenfuhrers in Lemberg. am Mittwoch, dem 21.4.1943, wegen Freigabe von 1 500 
Juden fur die kunftige Staatsdomane Jagielnica, 29.4.43, BA NS19/3921, pp. 7-8. 

335 Diensttagebuch, pp.335-6, 338-9 (25.3.1941, 26.3.1941). 

336 Diensttagebuch, pp.386, (17.7.1941). 

337 Diensttagebuch, p.389 (21.7.1941). 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

of the Warsaw ghetto in the next few days". 338 The reason for the urgency of these 
preparations he ascribed to the food situation: "if we establish a food and development plan, 
then it is clear that certain questions with which we have grappled continuously for almost 
two years will no longer concern us in the main. I believe that a relief in the conditions in 
Warsaw and other large towns will now occur." 339 Some of Frank's hopes for an expulsion of 
the Jews of the GG rested with a proposal to expand the Generalgouvernement eastwards. 
The decision to add the traditional Habsburg territory of eastern Galicia was made without 
difficulty and confirmed on July 19. 340 In fact, this was not the only territory in which Frank 
was interested. The civil administration of the GG had been tasked with temporarily 
administering the border town of Brest-Litovsk from an early stage. 341 On July 20, Frank 
proposed to Hans Lammers that the Pripyat marshes be annexed to his domain. By contrast to 
"overpopulated" eastern Galicia, the Pripyat marshes would enable Frank to "bring 
population elements (above all Jewish) into productive and profitable employment for the 
Reich" 342 

Hitler rejected the proposal two days later. 343 Although the notion of deporting Jews 
to drain the Pripyat marshes was floated not long afterwards by the chief of Einsatzgruppe C, 
Otto Rasch 344 , both expert opinion 345 as well as Hitler himself feared that the draining of the 
Pripyat marshes would lead to the "steppe-ification" of the vital agricultural acreages of 
Ukraine and thus the marshes were better utilised as military manoeuvre areas. 346 

Mattogno's treatment of this episode is instructive. Aside from misdating Rasch' s 
suggestion twice 347 , he is utterly silent on the dead-ending of the proposal by Hitler, and 

338 VEJ 4, p. 683 (Protokoll der Wirtschaftstagung der Regierung des GG in Krakau, 22.7.41). The declaration 
and intention became widely known, as Heinz Auerswald confessed to Adam Czerniakow, among both the 
Polish and Jewish population. Czerniakow, Diary, p.l78ff (28.8.41). Rumblings also reached the Swedish 
newspaper Tidningens by mid- July, which claimed that "the Nazis are considering the expulsion of all Jews 
form Poland into occupied Soviet territory", although these reports noted that "Hitler prefers to have the Jews of 
Poland also sent to Madagascar instead of forcing them on Russian soil". See 'Nazis Reported Considering 
Expulsion of All Polish Jews into Russia', Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 15.7.1941. 

339 Aly, Endlosung, p. 317, citing from unpublished portions of the meeting of 22.7.1941. 

340 Aly, Endlosung, p.293. 

341 Brest-Litovsk was eventually handed to Erich Koch's Reichskommissariat Ukraine as part of the 
Generalkommissariat Wolhynien-Podolien. The Generalgouvernement also assigned a liaison officer, Ernst 
Kundt, to Army Group Centre, which had taken Brest. Beruck Mitte la Br.B.Nr 135/41 g.Kdos, 23.7.41, NARA 

342 Frank an Lammers, BA R6/21, p.l36ff. 

343 Diensttagebuch, p.387 (22.7.41). 

344 EM 52, 14.8.1941, NO-4540; cf. Wilhelm, Einsatzgruppe A, p.628; Aly, Endlosung, p.277. 

345 See Aly/Heim, Vordenker der Vernichtung, p. 251, discussing a position paper by Helmut Meinhold from 

July 1941. 

346 Jochmar 

347 In both : 
while correctly dating the reference in the footnote. Meanwhile, the document is repeated in Treblinka, p. 205, 

346 Jochmann, Monologe, p.74 (28.9.1941). 

347 In both Sobibor (p. 246) and Treblinka (pp. 253-4), Mattogno misdates this document to 1942 in the main text 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

instead discusses the project as if it were a live concern that might well have extended into 
1942, presumably in order to keep open another option for his fantasy 'resettlement' thesis. 
Later on in Sobibor, his co-author Graf goes one better and offers a cretinously literalist 
reading of a statement from 1942 by the deputy director of the Population and Welfare 
Department of the GG, Walter Fohl. 348 The quote is sufficiently instructive that it is worth 
citing in full, in order that the reader can gauge the degree of imbecility required to take it 

Every day now, we have been receiving trains, each with 1,000 Jews from 
Europe, processing them and housing them in one way or another, and sending 
them on, right into the swamps of White Ruthenia towards the Arctic Ocean; that 
is where they will all find themselves when the war is over - if they survive (and 
the Jews from the Kurfiirstendamm or from Vienna or Pressburg surely will not) 
- not without having built a few motorways. (But we should not talk about 
that.) 349 

To read this jumble of destinations and allusions to superseded fantasies and dead 
policy proposals as anything other than a blatantly obvious cipher for mass murder takes 
some doing. But to miss the inhumane undertone takes a special kind of stupidity. As Fohl's 
remarks from 1942 indicate, the expectation in the summer of 1941 - as in 1939 with the 
"Lublin reservation" plan, or in 1940 with Madagascar - was that any deportation to the 
Pripyat marshes would decimate the Jews by working them to death. 350 The Pripyat proposal 
thus represented yet another confirmation of the genocidal tendency in the planning of the 
civil administration, much less that of the SS. 

In several of his brochures, Mattogno has tried to link the Pripyat marshes trial 
balloon to a document describing the deportation in May 1942 of 16,882 Jews from Pulawy 
county in the Lublin district "over the Bug River." 351 A glance at the map apparently sufficed 
to allow Mattogno to take this vague expression literally, and to declare that the Jews of 
Pulawy county must have been resettled in the Generalkommissariat Wolhynien-Podolien, 
which contained the Gebietskommissariat Pinsk and thus administered the Pripyat marshes. 

with the correct date in the main text. Misdating the document to 1942 would tend to go in Mattogno's favour, 
so there must be a suspicion that this evident sloppiness is an expression of unconscious bias. If Mattogno wants 
to avoid such a suspicion, he really needs to get a better proof-reader, and stop leaping around chronologically 
so much. 

348 MGK, Sobibor, p. 358, citing from the apologetic memoir of RKF official Fritz Arlt, published after the 
research of Gotz Aly and Susanne Heim had overturned the rock under which this Nazi resettlement expert had 
been hiding. 

349 First cited in Aly/Heim, Vordenker der Vernichtung, p.215ff; also cited in Aly, Endlosung, p. 275; Musial, 
Deutsche Zivilverwaltung , pp. 268-9. 

350 Cf. Martyn Housden, Hans Frank: Lebensraum and the Holocaust. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, 

351 KHm Pulawy an GDL, 13.5.42, FGM, p.438. For the negationist presentation, see M&G, Treblinka, p. 258; 
MGK, Sobibor, p.302. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Quite apart from the total and glaring lack of confirmation of this from any source from the 
Wolhynien-Podolien district, the interpretation can be dismissed for two reasons. Firstly, at 
least one Sobibor survivor, Stanislaw Szmajzner, was selected for the Sonderkommando from 
these transports, and did not report any 'onward transports'. There is already thus a 
contradiction between separate sources which cannot be overcome by appealing to the 
supposed superiority of documents, since the documented reference is so extraordinarily 
imprecise and vague, and totally lacking in any kind of corroboration. 352 

Secondly, the phrase "over the Bug" had already been used several times as a cipher 
for mass murder in the Lublin district. On December 1, 1939, 5./SS-Reiterstandarte 1 
expelled 1018 Jews from Chelm county to Sokal across the Nazi-Soviet demarcation line 
"over the Bug", in the course of which no fewer than 440 Jews were "shot trying to escape". 
The next month, on January 13, 1940, the same company murdered 600 Jewish prisoners of 
war deported to Chelm who it had been hoped could likewise be expelled across the 
border. 353 Moreover, this cipher recurred in late 1941 during the transition phase to Aktion 
Reinhard. At a meeting on October 17, as we have seen above, the civil and SS leadership of 
the Lublin district together with Hans Frank decided that "all Jews, with the exception of 
indispensable craftsmen and the like, are to be evacuated from Lublin. Initially, 1,000 Jews 
will be transferred across the Bug River. Responsibility for this is placed in the hands of the 
SSPF. The Stadthauptmann will select the Jews to be evacuated." 354 

It is a virtual certainty that Mattogno would see this document as further proof of his 
fantasy resettlement thesis, since the protocolled intention was that Jews would be 
"transferred across the Bug River". Alas, neither in the protocol of the October 17 1941 
meeting in Lublin nor in its later usage can Mattogno 's stultifyingly literalist interpretation be 
sustained. Firstly, the phrase "over the Bug" first circulated in 1939 when SS troops were 
busy trying to expel Jews over the Nazi-Soviet interest border. This resulted, as we just saw, 
in several massacres of Jews who were ostensibly to be expelled but never even reached the 
border. Thus the phrase may well have been understood - by the SS, by the civil 
administration or by both institutions - as a cipher and euphemism for mass murder already 
in 1941. Secondly, there is the simple problem of geography. A literalist interpretation would 
direct the Jews of Lublin city who were supposed to be "transferred across the Bug river" 
either into the Galicia district or into the Reichskommissariat Ukraine. From the perspective 

52 Schelvis, Vernichtungslager Sobibor, p. 283. 

353 Cuppers, Wegbereiter der Shoah, pp51-3; on the January 1940 incident also Shmuel Krakowski, 'The Fate of 
Jewish Prisoners of War in the September 1939 Campaign', YVS XII, 1977, pp. 297-333. 

354 Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, p. 196, quoting from an unpublished portion of the Diensttagebuch. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

of both the SS and the civil administration, and in the light of every previous experience in 
Nazi Jewish policy in the Generalgouvernement, a transfer to Galicia would have been a 
futile exercise in rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic. Previous efforts to create the 'Lublin 
reservation' or to annex the Pripyat marshes to the Generalgouvernement as a dumping- 
ground for unwanted populations had also failed. There is no hint in any source that the 
Galicia district was intended to fulfil such a function, and a great deal of evidence to argue 
against this. 

That leaves the possibility of expelling Jews from Lublin to Ukraine or another 
location in the occupied Soviet Union. Yet the very location of Belzec, on the border of the 
Lublin and Galicia districts, argues against this interpretation. Moreover, with the 
construction of Majdanek, there was simply no need to construct a 'transit camp' in a remote 
location. If the intention was at this time to simply expel and resettle the Jews of Lublin, then 
all that would have been needed was a temporary holding facility, which already existed in 
the form of the ghetto, or the camp at Lipowastrasse 7, or Majdanek, which was already 
being built up to a capacity large enough to accommodate 1,000 persons passing through 
temporarily. 355 For all these reasons, the location of the first camp in what was to become 
Aktion Reinhard on the border between the Lublin and Galicia districts, in a primitive rural 
environment and from a transport perspective in entirely the wrong direction for any 'transit' 
to Ukraine, is not compatible with a 'transit camp'. And thus, the reference in May 1942 to 
the deportation of the Jews of Pulawy county "over the Bug River" cannot be considered 
evidence of actual "transit" - quite aside from the utter lack of corroboration at the putative 
end destination. 

It is telling that Mattogno is wholly unable to provide any other source than the now 
debunked 'over the Bug' reference which might indicate 'resettlement' of the up to 180,000 
Jews deported to Belzec and Sobibor from March to June 1942 in the first phase of Aktion 
Reinhard. The sources concerning the other nine-tenths or more of the deportations are either 
utterly silent on the actual destinations, or in fact name destinations which are demonstrable 
falsehoods, because they were Nazi deception measures. A case in point is the deportations 

355 Contrary to a persistent negationist fantasy, a delousing facility was hardly a sine qua non, as both before 
1941 and afterwards, quite substantial populations were transferred across Nazi-occupied Europe without 
necessarily being deloused at the start of their journeys. Besides which, there were surely ample delousing 
facilities available in Lublin or which could have been rapidly constructed there. From a hygienic perspective, 
delousing was more urgently carried out at the end of a journey or upon arrival at a permanent destination. This, 
of course, assumes that the Nazis cared enough to insist on hygiene when they had long ago transitioned to 
walling up or fencing off incredibly overcrowded Jewish communities inside ghettos across Poland and the 
occupied Soviet Union. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

from the Galician capital of Lwow which began in March 1942. 356 Indeed, the Jews of Lwow 
were misinformed that their relatives had been deported to Lublin, as the Wehrmacht 
commander in the Galicia district noted: 

Within the Jewish population of Lemberg a noticeable unrest has spread in regard 
to a deportation action that has begun, through which some 30,000 elderly and 
other unemployed Jews shall be seized and allegedly transferred to a territory 
near Lublin. To what extent this evacuation can be equated with a decimation 
remains to be seen. 357 

None of the Jews of Lwow or any other town in Galicia ever arrived anywhere in the 

Lublin district, as was swiftly realised in the Galician capital: 

The Jewish population displays the deepest depression, which is completely 
understandable because on the one hand in various locations in the district the 
well-known actions against the Jews occur again and on the other hand in 
Lemberg the temporarily interrupted resettlement of Jews resumes; in the 
meantime it is whispered also among the Jews that the evacuees never reach the 
resettlement territory that is alleged to them as the destination. 358 

Instead of ending up in Lublin - which was itself the target of a simultaneous 
deportation operation to Belzec - the deportees from the Lwow ghetto perished in Belzec, as 
was swiftly confirmed by the Polish resistance. 359 Although confronted with these documents 
in an earlier exchange with Roberto Muehlenkamp, Mattogno was unable to explain what had 
happened to the Jews of Lwow, much less why they had been deported westwards, contenting 
himself with seemingly misunderstanding the remark of the Oberfeldkommandatur in Lwow 
that "to what extent this evacuation can be equated with a decimation remains to be seen" as 
referring to Belzec, rather than as is apparent to any sentient reader, referring to the 
decimation of the Jews of Lwow. 360 It is howlers like this that make us question sometimes 
whether Mattogno can actually read English fluently, since the alternative is that he has 
absolutely no shame about lying. 

References which can be spun into substantiating the 'resettlement' fantasy are 
equally thin on the ground for phase two of Aktion Reinhard, beginning at the start of June 

356 As with so many deportation operations in the course of Aktion Reinhard, precise documentation is 
fragmentary. On March 27, the Ukrainian police rounded up 1,648 Jews without work passes; on March 30, 
1,328 and on April 1, 903 Jews. Cf. Kommandeur der Ukrainischen Polizei in Lemberg an KdSch Lemberg, 
Betr. Judenaktion am 27.3.1942, 30.3.1942, 1.4.1942, DALO R12-1-37, pp.45, 52 and R12-1-38, p.14. For the 
course of the entire action, see Pohl, Ostgalizien, pp. 186-188; Sandkiihler, Endlosung in Galizien, pp. 208-212. 

357 Oberfeldkommandantur 365, Monatsbericht fur 16.2-15.3.42, 19.3.42, NARA T501/215/97; cf. Pohl, 
Ostgalizien, p. 188; Krannhals, 'Judenvernichtung', p. 573. 

358 OFK 365, Monatsbericht fur 16.3-15.4.42, 18.4.42, NARA T501/216/203; cf. Pohl, Ostgalizien, p.192. 

359 Zygmunt Marikowski, Zwiazek Walki Zbrojnej, I, Armia Krajowa w Okregu Lubelskim, London. 1973. Book 
Two, Documents, pp. 34-35. 

360 Mattogno, Belzec e le controversie olocaustiche, p. 60. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

1942 with the reopening of Belzec and hitting its stride in late July 1942 with the unveiling of 
Treblinka. This is not to say that the Nazi hierarchy and SS leadership were not using 
'resettlement' in a manifestly euphemistic manner, however. At a speech to the senior SS 
leadership immediately after Heydrich's funeral in early June 1942, Himmler announced that 
"the migration of the Jews we will have definitely completed within one year; then none will 
wander any more. For now a clean sweep must be made." 361 The usual negationist literalism 
founders badly on an ambiguous statement such as this, since Himmler' s words can easily be 
interpreted as meaning none will be alive to wander, rather than merely that all Jews will 
have been migrated within one year to a final destination. If MGK were to opt for the latter, 
they would, of course, have to explain which part of the occupied eastern territories had been 
selected for the permanent Jewish reservation, since 'dann wandert keiner mehr' cannot be 
read as referring to the transplantation of deportees to a temporary holding centre, especially 
not when coming from the lips of a man who openly declared the extermination of the Jews 
to be a completed fact on several occasions in 1943 and 1944. 362 

That Himmler henceforth intended a total expulsion of the Jews of Poland is 
seemingly accepted by Mattogno, who has cited on several occasions a well known directive 
from the Reichsfiihrer-SS to Kriiger issued on 19 July 1942. 363 The document is worth 
quoting in extenso, not least because Mattogno omits the two sentences bolded below from 
his reproduction of this document in Sobibor: 364 

I herewith order that the resettlement of the entire Jewish population of the 
Government-General be carried out and completed by December 31, 1942. 

From December 31, 1942, no persons of Jewish origin may remain within the 
Government-General, unless they are in collection camps in Warsaw, Cracow, 
Czestochowa, Radom, and Lublin. All other work on which Jewish labor is 
employed must be finished by that date, or, in the event that this is not possible, it 
must be transferred to one of the collection camps. 

These measures are required with a view to the necessary ethnic division of races 
and peoples for the New Order in Europe, and also in the interests of the security 
and cleanliness of the German Reich and its sphere of interest. Every breach of 
this regulation spells a danger to quiet and order in the entire German 
sphere of interest, a point of application for the resistance movement and a 
source of moral and physical pestilence. For all these reasons a total 
cleansing is necessary and therefore to be carried out. 


Himmler Geheimreden, p. 159. 

362 See section 'Extermination and Labour' above. 

363 Cf. M&G, Majdanek, note 28; Mattogno, 'Origins of Birkenau', note 103; Carlo Mattogno, Hitler e il nemico 
di razza. II nazionalsocialism e la questione ebraica, Edizioni di AR, 2009, p. 106 note 3; MGK, Sobibor, p. 249. 

364 Himmler an den Hoheren SS- und Polizeifuhrer Ost, 19.7.42, NO-5514. Available online at: holocaust/documents/part2/docl24.html 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

The omitted sentences contain sentiments which, as we will see shortly, become a 
virtual refrain in Himmler's orders forcing through the continued deportations from the 
Generalgouvernement and Bialystok district in 1943. More important for our immediate 
purposes, however, is to note that nowhere in this document is the end destination for the 
'resettlement' specified. Nor was the order copied to any other Higher SS and Police Leader 
than Kriiger; no duplicate sent to one of the three HSSPFs in the occupied Soviet territories 
has come to light. The intransitive use of 'resettlement' and organisationally myopic 
omission of any form of coordination with the reception areas renders this document entirely 
useless for the purpose of proving 'resettlement'. When set against other statements by 
Himmler made around this same time, the intended meaning becomes even clearer. On July 
28, 1942, Himmler wrote to Gottlob Berger, head of the SS-Hauptamt, declaring that "The 
occupied Eastern territories will be freed of Jews (judenfrei). The Fiihrer has laid upon my 
shoulders the execution of this very difficult order. Moreover, no one can relieve me of this 
responsibility." 365 As will be seen again in Chapter 4, a 'resettlement' to the very territories 
which are to become judenfrei is complete nonsense. Unsurprisingly, MGK ignore this 
source, too. 

The ensuing Warsaw ghetto action lasting from July to September 1942 poses 
Mattogno enough problems that he dedicates nearly six pages of Treblinka to obfuscating it 
and displaying his remarkable lack of reading comprehension. 366 Let us start by noting that 
the famous correspondence between Karl Wolff, head of the Personal Staff of the 
Reichsfuhrer-SS, and Ganzenmuller, the state secretary for transport, simply refers to the 
deportation of a daily train of 5,000 Jews "from Warsaw via Malkinia to Treblinka", without 
mentioning any kind of onward destination or discussing the necessity of coordinating 
changing trains. 367 More hilarious, however, is Mattogno' s insistence that "not a single 
German report concerning such a large-scale displacement of population has been 
preserved" 368 , blithely ignoring an excerpt from a monthly report of the governor of the 
district of Warsaw, Ludwig Fischer, published in one of his favourite sources for quote- 
mines. 369 The real belly-laugh comes from Mattogno's inept attempt to compare the 
percentage of Jews deemed fit for work in the Lodz ghetto as of the end of June 1942, with 
the number selected from the deportees from the Warsaw ghetto and sent to the 

365 Himmler an Berger, 28.7.42, NO-626, cf. Fleming, Hitler and the Final Solution, p. 112. 

366 M&G, Treblinka, pp.273-279. 

367 Ganzenmuller an SS-Obergruppenfiihrer Wolff, 28.7.42, NO-2207, also 17251. 

368 M&G, Treblinka, p.275. 

369 FGM, pp. 323-4; fuller versions are published in Polish translation in Krzysztof Dunin-Wasowicz (ed), 
Raporty Ludwiga Fischera, Gubernatora Dystryktu Warszawskiego 1939-1944. Warsaw, 1987. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

'Durchgangslager' , the transit camp for workers. 370 Evidently it did not occur to Mattogno 
that firstly, the remaining 35,000 'legal' workers who avoided deportation would have to be 
added to the 263,243 deported to produce a comparable statistic for the Warsaw ghetto, and 
secondly, that circumstances were rather different in the Generalgouvernement after 
Himmler's order of 19 July 1942 than they were in the Warthegau. 

Finally, then, we have a genuine 'transit camp' to consider. Alas, Mattogno doesn't 
seem to twig that the separation of 11,315 workers from 251,545 other deportees 371 means 
that the subsequent bloviation about a transport of 1000 Jews arriving in Minsk at the end of 
July 1942 proves absolutely nothing other than his inability to perform basic arithmetic. 372 
For until evidence is forthcoming that more than 11,315 Warsaw Jews turned up anywhere 
other than Treblinka, we are quite safe in concluding that any reports of transports of Warsaw 
Jews arriving elsewhere must have been taken from the 'Durchgangslager' only. At the end 
of July, at most two transports were transferred to Minsk and Bobruisk, the latter heading 
thereafter to Smolensk, for labour purposes. 373 Between August 15 and September 17, three 
or four transports from Warsaw arrived at Majdanek with around 3,440 Jews and were 
registered there. 374 Polish underground reports recorded two possible additional transports to 
Brest and Malaszewice near Brest, but no further trace of them has been uncovered. 375 
Together, these labour transports, real or fictitious, do not yet exhaust the quota of 11,315 
selected for the 'Durchgangslager', even if one ignores possible double-counts and 

Much trumpeted by Mattogno and Graf in their 2002 work, privately, Jiirgen Graf has 
apparently admitted that the paper trail surrounding the arrival of the lone transport from 
Warsaw to Minsk on July 31, 1942 376 does not prove that the transport had 'transited' 
through Treblinka. Indeed, elementary common sense and basic inference flatly contradict 
such an interpretation. Here it should be noted that in Treblinka, M&G refrain from making 

370 M&G, Treblinka, p.274. 

371 'Likwidacja Getta Warszawskiego', BZIH Nr 1, 1951, pp. 81-90. 

372 M&G, Treblinka, p. 277-279; this reference is repeated in countless articles by MGK and others, too 
numerous to list here. 

373 Cf. Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, p. 762. An earlier transport of 1000 workers left the Warsaw ghetto on May 
30, 1942, for the SS-Nachschubkommandantur Russland-Mitte in Bobruisk, evidently as part of a private back- 
channel deal, and also predating any mass deportations, and is thus as irrelevant to the issue of proving 
'resettlement' as everything else offered by MGK. 

374 Schwindt, Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager Majdanek, pp. 137-8; K.A. Tarkowski, 'Transporty 
wiezniow przybywajace do obozu na Majdanku jesienia 1942 roku. Analiza numeracji wiezniow', Zeszyty 
Majdanka, t. XXII (2003), p. 312; Tarkowski, 'Transport Zydow z getta warszawskiego z 15 sierpnia 1942 r.', 
Zeszyty Majdanka, t. XXI (2001), pp. 247-275. 

375 Marczewska/Wazniewski, 'Treblinka w swietle Akt Delegatury', p. 137. 

376 Kube an Lohse, Partisanenbekampfung und Judenaktion im Generalbezirk WeiBruthenien, 31.7.1942, 3428- 
PS, IMT XXXII, pp. 280-2. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

any firm conclusion about their cut and pasted excerpts, preferring to save this assertion for 
more polemical platforms. Thus, when Graf wrote an open letter to David Irving on the 
subject of the Reinhard camps, he reasoned that "as the deportation of Jews from the Warsaw 
ghetto had commenced eight days before, and as everybody agrees that at that time all 
Warsaw Jews were deported to Treblinka, the 1000 Jews mentioned by Kube must by 
necessity have been deported to Minsk via Treblinka." 377 But no, Jiirgen, not everyone agrees 
that all the Warsaw Jews were deported to Treblinka, since we have a good source, published 
already in 1951, from Oneg Shabes indicating that up to 11,000 were not. A source, 
moreover, which was still buried in a milk-can at the time of the Nuremberg trial when the 
complaint about the transport from Warsaw to Minsk made by Gauleiter Erich Kube, the 
Generalkommissar Weissruthenien, to Gauleiter Hinrich Lohse, the Reichskommissar 
Ostland, was uncovered. 

If this critique's discussion of Mattogno's 'resettlement' gambits is beginning to 
resemble the tracing of a Jackson Pollock painting, that is because that is exactly what it is. 
No better example of how Mattogno throws paint against the wall in the hope of creating a 
Rembrandt can be found than the repeated invocation of a document which judging by the 
sheer number of times it is spammed across his many brochures and pamphlets, must be 
valued very highly by him. Namely, a report from Oswald Pohl to Heinrich Himmler on 
September 16, 1942, regarding his recent negotiations with the Armaments Minister Albert 
Speer about the possibility of locating arms factories in the concentration camps. One result 
of the negotiations was an agreement to deploy 50,000 Jews for armaments work at 
Auschwitz. "We will skim off the labour force necessary for this purpose mainly in 
Auschwitz from the migration to the east (Ostwanderung)... the able-bodied Jews destined for 
migration to the east will therefore have to interrupt their journey and perform armament 
work". 378 

This document, which is cited at least nine times in Mattogno's oeuvre, is frequently 
recapitulated with a crucial term omitted - able-bodied. 379 The actual document thus refers 
only to Jews fit for work "breaking off their migration to the east" and says absolutely 

377 Jiirgen Graf, 'David Irving and the 'Aktion Reinhardt' Camps', Inconvenient History, Vol.1, No. 2, 2009. 

378 Pohl an Himmler, 16.9.1942, NI-15392 and BA NS19/14, pp.131-3. 

379 It is cited in Carlo Mattogno, Special Treatment in Auschwitz: Origin and Meaning of a Term, Chicago: 
Theses & Dissertations Press, 2004, notes 141 and 259, M&G, Treblinka, note 727; Carlo Mattogno, 'The 
Morgues of the Crematoria at Birkenau in the Light of Documents', The Revisionist, 2/3 (2004) Part I note 7; 
Mattogno, 'Origins of Birkenau' note 115, Carlo Mattogno, 'Azione 1005' i Azione Reinhard, notes 9 and 11; 
Mattogno, Hilberg, note 424; Mattogno, Hitler e il nemico di razza, p. 39 note 3 and p. 100 note 1; MGK, 
Sob/bdr,pp. 290-1, omitting 'able bodied'; Mattogno, Auschwitz: The Case for Sanity, note 902. It is additionally 
repeated in Graf, Neue Weltordnung, note 510 and Rudolf, Lectures on the Holocaust, note 448. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

nothing about Jews regarded as unfit for work. In this regard, it is of a piece not only with 
the Wannsee conference protocol 380 , but several other sources which remain utterly silent on 
the fate of the unfit, although as we have seen, there are several other documents which close 
this ominous gap and specify their intended fate - murder. Pohl's poetic reference to the 
Ostwanderung, moreover, seems to have been lifted almost directly from the Wannsee 
protocol, which was written at a time before the actual shape of the Final Solution was 
crystallised in its eventual form. Thus, once again, the informed reader will shrug at 
Mattogno's gyrations and say, 'so what?' They prove nothing other than either his sloppy 
typing or his dishonesty in omitting two words that change the entire meaning of the quoted 

However, the document does help us introduce a series of sources which are perhaps 
unsurprisingly omitted from Mattogno's portrayal of 'resettlement', precisely because they 
completely refute this hypothesis. In December 1942, the head of the Gestapo Heinrich 
Miiller telexed Himmler at his field headquarters concerning a plan to increase the labour 
force in the concentration camp system. 45,000 Jews were to be deported to Auschwitz, of 
which 10,000 were to come from the Theresienstadt ghetto, 3,000 from the Netherlands and 
2,000 from the hitherto exempted Jews employed as part of the Berlin armaments workforce, 
while 30,000 were to come from the Bialystok district, where deportations had begun at the 
start of November 1942. 381 The total of 45,000 Jews included "the unfit appendages (old 
Jews and children)" so that Miiller hoped to reap 10 to 15,000 workers from the 45,000 
deportees slated for Auschwitz. 382 What would happen to the "unfit appendages" was not 
spelled out, but is crystal clear to anyone familiar with the real history of Auschwitz, as 
opposed to the Revisionist fantasy version. As with the deportations from Lwow to Belzec 
earlier on, the decision to deport Jews from the Bialystok district to Auschwitz meant that 
once again, the 'resetters' were going in the wrong direction - a problem which MGK have 
yet to properly acknowledge, much less solve. 

A major concern for Miiller was yet another of the periodic Transportsperren that 
would prevent deportation trains from running until mid-January 1943, in order to allow the 
Reich Ministry of Transport the chance to concentrate the maximum resources on reinforcing 
the collapsing German front in the Don bend after the encirclement of 6 th Army at Stalingrad. 

380 NG-2586-G. 

381 In March 1942, 161,000 Jews were registered in the Bialystok district. Der Bezirk Bialystok (1.3.42), p.29, 
BA F 15024. On the deportations from the Bialystok district, see Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, pp. 723-743; Sara 
Bender, The Jews of Bialystok during World War II and the Holocaust. London, 2008. 

382 Miiller to Himmler, 16.12.42, 1472-PS, IMT XXVII, pp.251-3. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

The Transportsperre, also reported to Himmler by the HSSPF in the Generalgouvernement, 
Kriiger 383 , led Himmler to write to Ganzenmiiller on January 20, 1943 with a remarkable - 
and for Revisionists deeply problematic - justification of the necessity of deporting the 

Jews: 384 

Now I wish to present another important question: a precondition for bringing 
peace and quiet to the General District of Bialystok and the Russian territories is 
the deportation of all those aiding the gangs or suspected of belonging to them. 
This also includes, over and above all else, deportation of the Jews, as well as the 
Jews from the West, because otherwise we will have to take into account a rise in 
the number of assaults from these territories as well. Here I need your help and 
your support. If I wish to finish things up quickly, I must have more trains for 
transports. I well know what dire straits the railroads are in and what demands are 
always being made on them. Nevertheless I am forced to appeal to you: help me 
and supply me the trains. 

As in his order to Kriiger of 19 July 1942, Himmler emphasised that the Jews were a 
dangerous threat to German order and security. Just as in July, he had emphasised that failure 
to carry out the total deportation of the Jews in the Generalgouvernement represented "a 
danger to quiet and order in the entire German sphere of interest, a point of application for the 
resistance movement and a source of moral and physical pestilence", in January 1943 
Himmler stressed that the "precondition for bringing peace and quiet" to the "Russian 
territories" was the "deportation of the Jews". From Himmler's perspective, as sources such 
as these makes unmistakeably clear, Jews would be a threat to security and order everywhere. 

Nor did Himmler drop this refrain in later months. After discussing with ethnic 
resettlement expert SS-Gruppenfiihrer Greifelt the urgency of 'removing' the remaining 300- 
400,000 Jews of the Generalgouvernement in May 1943 385 , Himmler reiterated this point as a 
necessity in a file note around the same time, stressing that "as much as the evacuation of the 
Jews produces unrest in the moment of its execution, so it will be the main prerequisite for a 
fundamental peace of the region after its completion." 386 Given that Himmler had arrogated 
to himself and to the SS the role of security commissar for the entire occupied Soviet 
territories and was closely engaged in planning the Nazi response to the rising tide of partisan 

383 Kriiger an Himmler, 5.12.1942, cited in Hilberg, Vernichtung, Bd.2, p.516. 

384 Himmler an Ganzenmiiller, 23.1.43, BA NS19/2774, pp.1-2, also FGM, p.346. 

385 Vermerk zu einem Vortrag des SS-Gruppenfiihrer Greifelt beim Reichsfiihrer-SS am 12.5.43, betrifft 
Ansiedlung im Generalgouvernement, BA NS 19/2648, p. 135. 

386 Aktennotiz iiber Bandenbekampfung, Berlin, den 10.5.43, gez. H.Himmler, NARA T175/128/2654173-7. 
Once again, the proposed evacuation was discussed intransitively, thus Himmler spoke of "Die Evakuierungen 
der restlichen rund 300 000 Juden im Generalgouvernement", not even talking about evacuating the Jews out of 
the Generalgouvernement. (Emphasis mine). 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

warfare 387 , one must honestly question the sanity of anyone who thinks they can legitimately 
interpret these documents as implying any kind of 'resettlement to the east' at a time when 
substantial parts of the occupied Soviet territories had become a virtual war zone due to the 
increased level of Soviet partisan resistance, and when Himmler had declared a state 
emergency in the Generalgouvernement to the west because of the rising level of Polish 
partisan warfare 388 , and since May 1943 had been sending a steady stream of police 
regiments as reinforcements to the region. 389 

Since the autumn of 1942, as we have already seen above, the only form of 
accommodation for Jews anywhere in eastern Europe that was acceptable to Himmler was a 
concentration camp or forced labour camp. In the course of 1943, the few remaining sealed 
ghettos were almost all converted to full-fledged Konzentrationslager or Zwangsarbeitslager, 
with many forced labour camps slated for absorption into the KZ system. The Lodz ghetto, 
seemingly the exception to this rule, was in fact the subject of efforts by Globocnik to deport 
its inmates to the Lublin district in order to add them to his workforce in the camps of SSPF 
Lublin and in Majdanek. By the end of June 1943, Globocnik had amassed a workforce of 
45,000 Jews in 'his' labour camps alongside the expanded inmate population of Majdanek. 390 
This labour force consisted of the surviving Jews of the Lublin district supplemented from 
two fresh sources, the transfer of the survivors of the Warsaw ghetto to the Lublin district, 
and from selections conducted on newly arriving transports from the Netherlands. 

After the Warsaw ghetto action of July through September 1942, a total of 35,000 
Jews were left alive 'legally' inside the ghetto, most working for private German firms 
manufacturing textiles and leather goods, along with a growing number of 'illegal' Jews who 
sought refuge in one of the few locations in the entire district of Warsaw where Jews had 
survived the deportations of the summer and autumn. In January 1943, an abortive attempt 
was made to deport more Jews from the ghetto and was met with resistance for the first time. 
6500 Jews were deported to Treblinka, while 1171 were shot on the spot. 391 The participation 
of Trawnikis in the action is uncertain, but possible, as German sources described it as "a 

387 On SS antipartisan strategy, operations and organisation, see Philip Blood, Hitler's Bandit Hunters. The SS 
and the Nazi Occupation of Europe. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2006. 

388 Der Reichsfiihrer-SS, Vortrag beim Fiihrer am 19.6.43 auf dem Obersalzberg 'Bandenkampf und 
Sicherheitslage', NA T175/70/2586505-6. 

389 Aktennotiz uber Bandenbekampfung, Berlin, den 10.5.43, gez. H.Himmler, NA T175/128/2654173-7; cf. 
Curilla, Judenmord in Polen. 

390 Globocnik an RFSS Pers.Stab, 21.6.43, BDC SS-OA Odilo Globocnilk, also published in Grabitz/Scheffler, 
Letzte Spuren, p.322ff; for the context of Globocnik's efforts to liquidate the Lodz ghetto, see also Klein, 
Gettoverwaltung Litzmannstadt, pp. 596-599. 

391 Hilberg, Vernichtung, pp. 534-5 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

large action carried out by the Lublin SS, which has appeared in the strength of two 
companies." 392 In January and February 1943, Himmler issued a string of orders to both 
Oswald Pohl, the head of the WVHA, as well as to the SSPF Warschau to liquidate the ghetto 
and transfer the machinery and workforces to forced labour camps in the Lublin district. 393 
The operation went ahead in April 1943, its start marked out by the relief of the previous 
SSPF Warschau, SS-Senior Colonel Sammern von Frankenegg, who was replaced by SS- 
Brigadier General Jiirgen Stroop, on April 17, 1943. 394 

The police operation proceeded methodically and ruthlessly, rousting virtually all 
inhabitants of the ghetto from their improvised bunkers and cellars, and deporting the 
majority to the Lublin district, where they were put to work in Majdanek, Poniatowa 395 , 
Trawniki and in the property-sorting depot based at the 'old airfield' camp in Lublin. 396 
Stroop's final tally counted 56,065 Jews who had been "registered", of whom circa 7000 had 
been shot on the spot and 6,929 were deported to Treblinka II. 397 Stroop further estimated 
that 5-6000 Jews had been killed in burning or demolished buildings, a number that is 
undoubtedly too high given the overall total. 

German and collaborator casualties amounted to 17 dead and 93 wounded; two of the 
dead were Trawnikis, while ten had been wounded, along with SS-Staff Sergeant Sepp 
Maoywski from the Trawniki training camp staff. 14 SS and Policemen had died in the 
fighting. 398 The stark disparity between German and collaborator losses and the number of 
Jews killed in the operation was caused by the extremely poor armament of the Jewish 
resistance fighters, who together possessed fewer firearms than would have been available to 

92 Grabitz/Scheffler, Letzte Spuren, p. 182. 

393 Himmler an Pohl, 16.2.43, NO-2494; cf. Schwindt, Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager Majdanek, 
pp.144-156, 205-220; Black, 'Foot Soldiers', pp.26-7. 

394 For an overview of the course of the uprising, see Israel Gutman, Resistance. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, 
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994. For the conduct of the forces involved, see Curilla, Judenmord in Polen, 
pp. 606-621, 595-5; Cuppers, Wegbereiter des Shoahs, pp. 292-304; Black, 'Foot Soldiers', pp. 23-24. 

395 On the labour camp at Poniatowa, see Ryszard Gicewicz, 'Oboz pracy w Poniatowej ( 1941-1943) ' ,Zeszyty 
Majdanka X, 1980, pp. 88-104; Artur Podgorski, 'Arbeitslager in Poniatowa, 1941-1943', Kwartalnik Historii 
Zydow, 4/2010, pp. 425-488; Evelyn Zegenhagen, 'Poniatowa' in: Geoffrey P. Megargee (ed), The United States 
Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945, Vol. 1, Bloomington: Indiana 
University Press, 2009, pp. 888-891. 

396 The Alter Flughafen camp was administered by Josef Oberhauser, a Belzec veteran promoted to serve as 
Christian Wirth's adjutant. Cf. Vernehmungsprotokoll Josef Oberhauser, 20.3.1963, StA Hamburg 147 Js 7/72, 
Bd.48, pp.9113-5; Evelyn Zegenhagen, 'Lublin - Alter Flughafen (Men)' and 'Lublin - Alter Flughafen 
(Women)' in Megargee (ed), USHMM Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, Vol. 1, pp. 885-8. 

397 SSPF Warschau, Ghetto-Grossaktion, 24.5.43, in Stroop Report, 1061-PS, online at http://www. holocaust- 
history. org/works/stroop-report/ipg/strp075.jpg . The population of the Warsaw ghetto was officially set at 
35,000 in September 1942, but this number did not include thousands who survived the summer 1942 action and 
lived illegally in the ghetto, nor did it include the thousands more who escaped from other ghettos and sought 
refuge in Warsaw during the winter of 1942-3. 

398 Stroop Report, 1061-PS. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

a typical company of the British Home Guard in the Second World War. 399 The majority of 
the casualties suffered by the Jewish resistance and the inhabitants of the ghettos did not 
occur in actual combat, but were the result of numerous mass executions which killed anyone 
suspected of having participated in the fighting. 

Like his treatment of the Warsaw ghetto action of the summer of 1942, Mattogno's 
exegesis of the Warsaw ghetto uprising is marked out for its nitpicking tediousness as he 
performs a checksum to try and fuss away the documented declarations from Stroop that he 
was deporting some of the rounded-up Jews to Treblinka. 400 His gloss on the bald statement 
that "by transport to T. II, 6,929 Jews were destroyed" is remarkable for its sheer desperation: 
instead of declaring the document to be a forgery, as his dimwitted epigones 'denierbud' has 
tried to do 401 , Mattogno opts for ultra-literalism, and decides that the SS opted to use 
Treblinka II as an execution site for the "liquidation" of "bandit elements", therefore the 
reference to Jews being sent to "T II" to be "destroyed" does not prove gassing. 402 No, but it 
confirms and corroborates the eyewitness testimonies of Wiernik, Strawczynski and countless 
other survivors who reported the arrival of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto in the spring of 
1943 along with their gassing. 403 Moreover, the reference to Jews being "destroyed" at 
Treblinka II really does nothing to help confirm Mattogno's 'transit camp thesis', since if a 
'transit camp' could also serve as a site of execution of up to 7,000 individuals, then there is 
no reason not to accept all the evidence confirming that the selfsame site was the place of 
execution for one hundred times that number in 1942. By accepting the document at face 
value, Mattogno manages to shoot himself in the foot once again. 

Equally desperate is Mattogno's attempt to parlay the evidence that the transports 
from Warsaw to Treblinka were selected on arrival into a major contradiction. That a few 
hundred deportees were sieved out of the 6,929 sent to Treblinka during this action has been 
acknowledged in the literature ever since Poliakov and Reitlinger in 1951 and 1953 

399 Although street fighting can be incredibly costly, there are many instances in military history where losses 
have been surprisingly light. In the Second Battle of Fallujah during November 2004, US forces retook the city 
from the equivalent of a regiment of Iraqi insurgents armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled 
grenades, for a loss of 54 killed and 425 wounded. The Jewish resistance coalition, the ZOB, was significantly 
worse armed than the insurgents in Fallujah, and still succeeded in inflicting over 100 casualties. Iraqi insurgent 
losses were between 1500-200, while civilian casualties were around 800, in a conflict characterised by much 
more devastating modern firepower. This highlights the extent to which the majority of casualties suffered by 
the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto did not occur in actual combat. Thomas Ricks, Fiasco: The American Military 
Adventure in Iraq. New York: Penguin, 2007, p. 400. 

400 M&G, Treblinka, pp.279-286 

401 See on this Roberto Muehlekamp, ' 'The Stroop Report is a Forgery',' (2007), series starting at 

402 M&G, Treblinka, pp.283-4. 

403 For more on witness convergences, see Chapter 6. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

respectively. 404 Yet Mattogno is seemingly incapable of noticing this, despite the fact that he 
has ostensibly read both books. Even more mysterious is how he can possibly cite the 
judgement of the Diisseldorf Treblinka trial stating that "several thousand people from 
Treblinka are said to have arrived at other camps" 405 as well as the work of Tatiana 
Berenstein and Adam Rutkowski acknowledging the selections 406 , and think that he is onto 
anything that is either genuinely unknown or proves what he wants it to prove. 407 The most 
detailed recent reconstruction of the deportation of the Warsaw ghetto survivors to Majdanek 
in the spring of 1943, by German historian Barbara Schwindt, likewise has no problem in 
detailing the selections at Treblinka and the arrival at Majdanek of the small contingents 
spared their intended fate, utilising vastly more sources than Mattogno does. 408 Schwindt' s 
work also details the course of the final liquidation of the Bialystok ghetto, which saw a 
combination of transports to Treblinka and Majdanek as well as further selections. 409 

Mattogno' s treatment of the Bialystok ghetto liquidation 410 is just as noteworthy as 
his misunderstanding of the Warsaw ghetto liquidation. His attempted obfuscation of the 
deportations from Bialystok to Treblinka as mere labour transfers masks a striking silent 
concession. At no time does Mattogno appear to notice that he has silently abandoned almost 
all of his effort to locate the deported Jews in the occupied Soviet territories and is seemingly 
content to shuffle deportees around the Generalgouvernement a bit. In other cases, he even 
tries to even to misdirect deportees all the way to the west to Auschwitz. 

Another example of this shell game can be found in his treatment of the deportation of 
West European Jews to the Lublin district and Sobibor in the spring of 1943. More or less 
ignoring the 5,000 French Jews deported to Sobibor and Majdanek at this time 411 , Mattogno 

404 Poliakov, Harvest of Hate, p. 197; Reitlinger, The Final Solution, p. 142. 

405 Cited from Riickerl, NS-Vernichtungslager, p. 198 

406 Tatiana Berenstein and Adam Rutkowski, 'Zydzi w obozie koncentracyjnym Majdanek (1941-1944)', 
Biuletyn ZIH 58, 1966, p.448. 

407 M&G, Treblinka, pp.284-6 

408 Schwindt, Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager Majdanek, pp. 205-220 

409 Ibid, pp. 254-268; for the course of the Bialystok ghetto liquidation see also Curilla, Judenmord in Polen, 
pp.292-298; Bender, Jews of Bialystok, pp. 243-269; Justiz und NS-Verbrechen Bd XXVI, p. 105 (Urteil 
Landgericht Bielefeld gegen Dr Altenloh u.a, 14.4.1967); and the memoir account by Chaika Grossman, The 
Underground Army: Fighters of the Bialystok Ghetto. New York: Holocaust Library, 1987, pp. 275-305. Despite 
the existence of a resistance group in the ghetto, the Nazi operation achieved surprise, severely limiting the 
extent of the fighting. German losses totalled 9 wounded. Cf. Reichspropagandaamt Ostpreussen, Juden-Aktion, 
24.9.43, StA Hamburg 141 Js 573/60, Bd. 80, pp.15361-2. 

410 M&G, Treblinka, pp.286-8. 

411 The four transports with 5,003 deportees were directed to 'Chelm', cf. FS RSHA IV B 4 a an BdS 
Frankreich, Betr.: Abbeforderung der Juden aus Frankreich, 20.3.43, T/476. While 40 were selected for 
Majdanek from the first transport and a handful more from the second, of whom six survived by being 
transferred from Majdanek to Auschwitz and Budzyn, all the deportees on the last two transports went directly 
to Sobibor, where 31 workers were taken from the last of the transports, of whom two survived. See Serge 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

instead alights on wartime rumours that Belgian Jews had been sighted in the ghetto of 
Konskowola in the Lublin district, reports which reached Gisi Fleischmann of the 'Working 
Group' in Slovakia. 412 Indeed, the Polish underground also transmitted a report that Belgian 
Jews had been interned in Deblin-Irena and Konskowola, the message reaching the outside 
world by July 1943. 413 However, a subsequent message from a Slovakian Jew interned in the 
labour camps of Chelm county refutes this rumour; despite reports that Belgian Jews were to 
arrive, they did not. 414 Likewise seized on uncritically by Mattogno were earlier false reports 
that Belgian Jews had arrived at the ghetto in Grodno in late 1942. 415 The report in question 
had emanated in part from the Lodz ghetto, suggesting that the reference to Belgian Jews was 
pure hearsay. 416 Wholly ignored by Mattogno, needless to say, is the fact that the Grodno 
ghetto began to be emptied in November 1942 and was entirely liquidated by February 1943, 
with many inmates deported first to Auschwitz and later on also to Treblinka; none of the 
survivors reported seeing Belgian Jews in the ghetto after the war. 417 

Having struck out with the Belgians, Mattogno twice tries to make something of the 
deportation of Dutch Jews. The contrasting presentations in Treblinka (2002) and Sobibor 
(2010) are highly instructive regarding the degree to which Mattogno will distort perfectly 
clear evidence and well understood facts in order to spin a desperate yarn. In Treblinka, it 
suffices for Mattogno to note that there were selections at Sobibor which sent Dutch Jews to 
forced labour camps in the surrounding area. Blithely ignoring the fact that these selections 
had been discovered by the investigations of the Dutch Red Cross in 1946 418 , and skipping 
over the fact that both Leon Poliakov and Gerald Reitlinger 419 , the very first two writers to 
present comprehensive overviews of the Holocaust in 1951 and 1953 respectively, had noted 

Klarsfeld, Memorial to the Jews Deported from France 1942-1944. New York: Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 
1983, pp.384-425 

412 M&G, Treblinka, pp. 251-2. The claim is mysteriously dropped from MGK, Sobibor. 

413 'Deportation of Jews from Polish Cities Continues: Belgian Jews Held in Lublin District', Jewish 
Telegraphic Agency, 14.7.1943. 

414 Tatsachenbericht eines aus der Slowakei deportierten und zuriickgekehrten Juden, 17.8.43, VHA Fond 
140/59, pp.41-50. 

415 M&G, Treblinka, p.252 

416 Maria Tyszkowa, 'Eksterminacja Zydow w latach 1941-1943. Dokumenty Biura Informacji i 
Propagandy KG AK w zbiorach oddzialu rekopisow BUW,' BZIH Nr 4, 1992, p.49. 

417 It is probably equally needless to note that nowhere does Mattogno show the slightest awareness of even the 
existence of the six volume collection of sources and postwar trial materials relating to the Grodno ghetto 
compiled in Serge Klarsfeld (ed), Documents Concerning the Destruction of the Jews of Grodno, Vols 1-6. 
Paris, 1985-1987. 

418 Affwikkelingsbureau Concentratiecampen, Sobibor, 's Gravenhage, 1946;Informatiebureau van Het 
Nederlansche Roode Kruis, Sobibor, 's Gravenhage, 1947; A de Haas, L Landsberger, K Selowsky, Sobibor : 
rapport omtrent de Joden, uit Nederland gedeporteerd naar het kamp Sobibor, 4de verb, en aangev. uitg., 's 
Gravenhage: Vereniging het Ned. Roode Kruis, 1952. 

419 Poliakov, Harvest of Hate, p. 197; Reitlinger, The Final Solution, p. 142 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

these selections just as they had noticed the selections from the Warsaw ghetto uprising 
transports, Mattogno tries to use the account presented by Jules Schelvis, one of the 18 
survivors of the selections, to discredit "official historiography". 420 But since all his sources 
are "official" by Revisionist standards and the equally "official" historians acknowledged this 
over sixty years ago, it is truly a puzzle to work out just what his point is. So what? 

By Sobibor, however, Mattogno has decided to try a different tack. Noting that the 
BdS Niederlande, Wilhelm Harster, had ordered an increased tempo of deportations of Dutch 
Jews to satisfy labour requirements at Auschwitz 421 , Mattogno expresses puzzlement that the 
transports instead rolled to the Lublin district, and decides all of a sudden to expose himself 
as a complete ignoramus of procedures at Auschwitz by declaring that "the able bodied were 
kept at Auschwitz, with the remainder of the deportees moving on to Sobibor", then adding 
"the selected detainees were no doubt moved directly to the Monowitz camp without being 
registered at Birkenau." 422 That survivors of selections were registered and tattooed inside the 
Monowitz camp without passing through either Auschwitz or Birkenau is apparent from 
numerous memoirs of survivors of Monowitz 423 ; but this does not mean they were entered 
into a separate number series, as all such cases can be matched to the "classic" Auschwitz 
number sequence recorded in the so-called Smolen list. 424 As there are no transports 
registered on the Smolen list from the Netherlands arriving in the same time frame as the 
deportations of Dutch Jews to Sobibor, Mattogno is simply talking rubbish on this one. How 
anyone who is supposedly as knowledgeable on Auschwitz as Mattogno thought he could get 
away with a transparent piece of nonsense such as this is completely beyond our 

Why 34,000 Dutch Jews were deported to Sobibor and the Lublin district is not nearly 
as "mysterious" as Mattogno tries to make out, once one remembers that in the same time- 
period, the inmates of the Salonika ghetto were arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau to be selected 
then gassed or registered, at a time when few of the four new crematoria were completed. 425 
The inference is both obvious and in our view, inescapable. Naturally, since Mattogno denies 
that any camp was an extermination camp, it eludes him entirely. We might sympathise, were 
it not for the fact that he has decided to ignore the known, documented and utterly undeniable 

420 M&G, Treblinka, pp.258-260. 

421 BdS Niederlande IV B 4, Endlosung der Judenfrage in den Niederlande, 5.5.1943, gez. Harster, 17544. 

422 MGK, Sobibor, p.309. 

423 Cf. among others, Hans Frankenthal, The Unwelcome One: Returning Home from Auschwitz. Evanston: 

Northwestern University Press, 2002. 
NOKW-2824, Case 12, Prosecutio 
Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle, passim. 

424 NOKW-2824, Case 12, Prosecution Document Book 9H. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

facts about prisoner registration at Auschwitz, simply to try and get out of his apparent 
quandary about what to do with the 34,000 deported Dutch Jews. 426 

Which brings us to an old negationist hobby-horse, the correspondence between Pohl 
and Himmler in June 1943 regarding the conversion of the 'transit camp' Sobibor into a 
concentration camp. 427 The manner in which deniers from Butz onwards have cited this 
document without so much as bothering to parse it properly, much less consider the context, 
would be almost touching were it not for its sheer tediousness. Firstly, let's just note that this 
is the only document related to any of the three Reinhard camps where 'Durchgangslager' is 
used. Secondly, it appears that Mattogno, in common with his comrades, has forgotten that 
there are other documents where Sobibor is given a different name. In June 1942, Lieutenant 
Fischmann of a Vienna police detachment accompanying a transport of Austrian Jews to 
Sobibor filed one of the rare surviving reports of a deportation, describing Sobibor as a 'work 
camp' (Arbeitslager). Given the Revisionist propensity for allowing gas chambers to mutate 
into morgues, air raid shelters or delousing chambers at will according to the needs of the 
moment, the transmogrification of Sobibor from a 'work camp' to a destination which had an 
'intake' of 101,000 in 1942 to a 'transit camp' just over one year later probably doesn't 
bother the deniers. Alas, the Vienna police reported that a selection had been conducted on 
the ramp at Lublin, with 51 of the deportees taken off to be sent to Majdanek, while the 
luggage was robbed before the Viennese Jews arrived at Sobibor. 428 So even if Fischmann 
believed whatever he was told at the Sobibor camp gates about its purpose, the document 
itself contradicts such a notion by highlighting a prior selection of the able-bodied from the 
transport. Moreover, there isn't exactly a shortage of documents referring to Sobibor simply 
as SS-Sonderkommando. 429 

Ah, but the Revisionists chirrup, why are Pohl and Himmler using a supposed 
'camouflage term' in secret correspondence? That, dear Revisionists, is because the purpose 
of euphemising death was not primarily camouflage; it was to distance the perpetrators and 
senior decision-makers from the consequences of their actions. Since we are dealing here 
with a sample of one - no other documents exist which quote either SS officer affixing any 
kind of descriptive term to the Reinhard camps - then the only comparable evidence would 

426 We examine another gambit on these deportations from Graf in Chapter 6. 

427 NO-482, cited in Butz, Hoax of the Twentieth Century, note 374; Graf, Neue Weltordnung note 506; MGK, 
Sobibor note 875; M&G, Treblinka note 756; Mattogno, Hilberg notes 435, 436. 

428 152. Polizeirevier, Erfahrungsbericht betr.: Transportkommando fiir den Judentransport Wien- 
Aspangbahnhof nach Sobibor am 14.6.1942, 20.6.42, gez. Fischmann, facsimile in Schelvis, Vernichtungslager 
Sobibor, Plates XIV-XV. 

429 E.g., SS-Sonderkommando Sobibor an die Bekleidungswerke Lublin, 25.4.43, AGK NTN 144, p. 109. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

be documents such as the aforementioned 'Ostwanderung' letter written by Pohl to Himmler, 
which was written in such transparently cynical language that one is entitled to be sceptical 
that Ozzy and Uncle Heinrich were playing it straight with 'Durchgangslager' . 

There are, however, further points to be made about the negationist gift-horse of 
'transit camp Sobibor'. It doesn't seem to have occurred to any of the Revisionist gurus that 
the document simply doesn't specify where deportees to Sobibor might transit to. Try as 
Mattogno, Graf and Kues might, they cannot actually use this as proof of 'resettlement' 
outside of the Generalgouvernement. And, once this fact is recognised, the term 'transit 
camp' becomes entirely explicable, for that is precisely what Sobibor had become by the 
spring of 1943. In stark contrast to Belzec in 1942, Sobibor was now situated in a nexus of 
forced labour camps run by SSPF Lublin, and functioned virtually as a pendant to the 
Trawniki camp. Incoming transports were frequently selected on arrival at Sobibor, with the 
able-bodied being transferred to Trawniki, Dorohucza or another SS-Arbeitslager in the 
region; or they were selected on arrival at Trawniki, with the unfit being dispatched to 
Sobibor, a fate which was also evidently experienced by exhausted and sick Jews from the 
labour camps who were being culled after a selection inside these camps. 430 This 
interpretation is further supported by the fate of incoming transports deported from the 
Reichskommissariat Ostland, most especially from the Minsk ghetto, in September 1943. 
Several surviving witnesses as well as contemporary diaries 431 confirm that the Jews of the 
Minsk ghetto were selected on arrival at several destinations in the Lublin district, including 
Sobibor, with at least several hundred sent to forced labour camps in the Lublin district. 

In Sobibor, Mattogno plays dumb and insists that these selections and the testimonies 
reporting them are "in disagreement with the thesis of nearly total extermination of the 
deportees taken to Sobibor and lends credit to the hypothesis that the Polish Jews selected for 
work were far more numerous than mainstream historiography asserts" 432 As we have seen, 
this strawman argument can be refuted simply by referring Mattogno to his ostensible sources 

430 Ref.Zeg/IX, Informacja tygodniowa, 30.6.1943, AAN 202/XV-2, fols. 341-42. 

431 See the diary of Helene Chilf, reproduced in Grab itz/S chef fler, Letzte Spuren, p. 252, and the postwar 
testimony of Minsk ghetto survivor Zina Czapnik, 28.3.1966, reproduced in ibid., p.269ff, both speaking of 
groups of 200-250 selected deportees transferred from Trawniki to Sobibor. Heinz Rosenberg, another survivor 
of the Minsk ghetto, spoke of being deported to 'Treblinka' from Minsk in September 1942, and thereafter being 
selected along with 250 others and being sent to the Budzyn labour camp. The naming of 'Treblinka' might be 
ascribed to a postwar confusion by the witness, were it not for the fact that Francizek Zabecki, the Treblinka 
stationmaster, referred to a transport arriving on 17 September 1942 from "Minsk Litewski", the Polish name 
for the Belarusian capital (to distinguish it from Minsk Mazowiecki in Mazovia), which owing to the condition 
of the camp was sent on to "Chelm". Cf. Heinz Rosenberg, Jahre des Schreckens... und ich blieb iibrig, da£ ich 
Dir's ansage. Gottingen: Steidl Verlag, 1985, pp. 72-8; Protokol, Francizek Zabecki, 21.12.1945, AIPN NTN 
70, p.4R. 

432 MGK, Sobibor, p.311. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

as well as to books he claims elsewhere to have read, all of which belong to the "mainstream 
historiography" he is misrepresenting. Leaving aside the apparently incorrigible myopia from 
which Mattogno suffers, the fact that there were indeed numerous selections on arrival at 
Sobibor, more than at any other Reinhard camp, renders the designation of 'transit camp' 
much more plausible and comprehensible. Nor, as we have seen with other examples of 
violent 'transit camps', does the designation rule out the extermination function at Sobibor so 
amply testified to by so many witnesses and confirmed indirectly by so many documents 
discussed above. And still the Revisionists' problem of trying to locate the deportees remains 

Mattogno fares little better when in his 1998 monograph on Majdanek, he tries his 
hand at etch-a-sketching away the violent end to Aktion Reinhard, the 'Erntefest' massacres 
at Majdanek, Trawniki and Poniatowa at the start of November 1943. The selections from the 
incoming transports from the Ostland are far from the only indicator that the SS authorities, 
both at the WVHA in Berlin as well as in Lublin itself, fully intended to continue exploiting 
Jewish forced labour in the Lublin district, until the contingency of the revolt at Sobibor 
prompted a dramatic volte-face. In August 1943, the WVHA had taken over the Trawniki 
training camp for administrative purposes, removing it from Globocnik's direct aegis. 433 
Globocnik's impending promotion and transfer as HSSPF to Trieste also prompted 
negotiations with Oswald Pohl to subordinate the SS-Arbeitslager to Majdanek. 434 However, 
the revolt at Sobibor on October 13, 1943, coupled with the general deterioration of the 
security situation and the growing threat from partisans, created fears of similar revolts in 
other camps. 435 Accordingly, Himmler ordered the new SSPF Lublin, SS-Major General 
Jakob Sporrenberg, to organise the largest mass shooting action in the history of the Third 
Reich, Operation 'Erntefest' or 'Harvest Festival'. This action would target the Jewish 
inmates of Majdanek while also liquidating the majority of ZALs in the Lublin district. 436 

The forces assembled for this series of shooting actions were considerable. 
Sporrenberg was even supplied with a contingent of SS from Auschwitz to assist in the action 
at Majdanek. 437 Several police battalions were tasked to the operation, including units 

433 SS-WVHA, Betr.: SS-Ausbildungslager Trawniki, 13.8.1943, gez. Pohl, NARA-BDC SS-OA Georg 

434 Aktenvermerk, 7.9.1943, gez. Pohl, NO-599. A formal order to this effect was issued on October 22, 1943, 
cf. Globocnik an Himmler, 18.1.1944, NO-057. 

435 Diensttagebuch, p.741 (19.10.43). 

436 On the course of 'Erntefest', see in addition to the sources named below, Schwindt, Konzentrations- und 
Vernichtungslager Majdanek, pp. 268-286. 

437 Report on the Interrogation of PW SS-Gruppenfuehrer Jakob Sporrenberg, 25.2.1946, PRO WO208/4673 
(also for the most comprehensive account of the planning of 'Erntefest'); Statement of Erich Mussfeldt, 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

deployed from outside the Lublin district. Thus, Reserve Police Battalion 41 was transferred 
from the Radom district to Lublin, and from there staged out to Trawniki on November 3, 
1943, where it participated in the mass execution of 10-12,000 Jews. 438 The action at 
Trawniki was also carried out by forces from Reserve Police Battalion 67, normally stationed 
in the Lublin district 439 , as well as Gestapo officials belonging to KdS Lublin. 440 The mass 
shooting at Trawniki also swallowed up the Jewish slave labourers remaining at nearby 
Dorohucza. 441 At Poniatowa, Police Cavalry Battalion III and the separate Police Cavalry 
Squadron Lublin were deployed alongside another detachment from KdS Lublin, possibly 
together with forces from Police Battalion 67, and executed 14,000 Jews. 442 Companies from 
Gendarmerie Battalion (mot.) 1 were split between Poniatowa and Majdanek itself. 443 At the 
latter site, Reserve Police Battalion 101 provided the lion's share of the force of executioners 
and guards screening off the killing sites, along with Majdanek camp staff and the 
detachment from Auschwitz. The mass execution at Majdanek claimed 18,000 lives. 444 

Mattogno's attempt at "debunking" the massacres in his 1998 brochure on Majdanek 
is fairly feeble in its grasp of the available sources; the claim that "all descriptions of the 
alleged massacre are based on the account of SS-Oberscharfuhrer Erich MuEfeldt" is 
nonsense, as the above brief recapitulation of some of the sources should indicate. 445 
Moreover, his total omission/ignorance of the parallel massacres at Trawniki and Poniatowa 
mean that we will simply send him back to the library and archives to deal with all the 
evidence rather than cherrypick it. 446 For our purposes here, the interesting thing is noting the 
sheer desperation with which Mattogno tries to confabulate a 'transfer' of prisoners from 
Majdanek to labour camps in the Krakow district, citing as usual a single vague wartime 

Freising, 5.7.1945, AIPN NTN 126, p. 173; Testimony of Otto Moll, taken at Niimberg, 16.4.46, NARA 

438 Curilla, Judenmord in Polen, pp. 621-2; DDR-Justiz und NS-Verbrechen, Bd I, pp. 145-7. 

439 Curilla, Judenmord in Polen, pp. 745-7; Justiz und NS-Verbrechen Bd. XLI, pp. 670-1. 

440 See the report of an SD NCO noting the shattering of his rifle butt in the course of the operation. SS- 
Hauptscharfuhrer, signature unreadable, with KdS Lublin Abt III, Betr.: Waffenschaden - Gewehr Nr. 6682, 
Lublin, den 31.1.44, NARA T175/248/2739778. 

441 Schelvis, Vernichtungslager Sobibor, pp. 140-143. 

442 Curilla, Judenmord in Polen, pp.763-5; Justiz und NS-Verbrechen Bd. XXXVIII, p.658-662. Units of this 
battalion had also participated in the manhunts and clean-up after the Sobibor revolt, cf. Schelvis, 
Vernichtungslager Sobibor, pp. 204-5; Wojciech Zysko, 'Eksterminacyjna dzialnosc Truppenpolizei w 
dystrykcie lubelskim w latach 1943-1944', Zezsyty Majdanka t.VI, 1972, pp.186-7. 

443 Curilla, Judenmord in Polen, p. 756. 

444 Browning, Ordinary Men, pp. 133-142; Curilla, Judenmord in Polen, p. 725-9. 

445 M&G, Majdanek, pp.209-230; citation on p.214. 

446 In addition to the sources enumerated above, one can also add the 480-page Wojciech Lenarczyk and Dariusz 
Libionka (eds), Erntefest 3-4 listopada 1943 - zapomniany epizod Zaglady. Lublin, 2009. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

report which he hopes will somehow weigh more heavily in the balance than the mountain of 
testimonies and other evidence which exists concerning 'Erntefest'. 447 

The problem with the 'transfer' argument should be immediately apparent: if 
prisoners were transferred to another camp, then they would sooner or later show up in the 
records of those camps, or in testimonies from survivors of those camps, whereas nothing of 
the sort can be shown. To the contrary: there were parallel liquidations at camps in the 
Galicia district, where the remaining survivors of the SS-Arbeitslager Janowska in Lwow 
were murdered in two actions on October 25/26 and November 12-19, 1943 448 , and in the 
Krakow district, which saw the camp at Szebnie liquidated and its inmates transferred to 
Auschwitz, with 2,889 disappearing into the gas chambers of Birkenau. 449 There were also 
transfers for labour purposes at this time. The camp at Plaszow transferred a contingent of 
2,500 prisoners to the large ammunition factory at Skarzsyko-Kamienna on November 16; 
another 1,400 labour camp inmates were transferred to other forced labour camps in the 
Radom district two days later. 450 

But the fact that other prisoners were transferred at this time helps us illuminate the 
fundamental problem with Mattogno's "transfer" argument: he ignores the fact that a mere 
"transfer" of inmates could be accomplished utilising existing guard forces. The movement of 
up to 4,000 prisoners from Plaszow and camps in the Krakow district evidently did not 
require the deployment of multiple battalions of Order Police as did the actions at Majdanek, 
Poniatowa and Trawniki. Since those camps disposed of several thousand Trawniki men 
alone, there was absolutely no shortage of manpower to carry out a mere transfer. The 
deployment of a full battalion of police from outside the Lublin district as well as the 
mobilisation of five battalions and a separate squadron from inside the district, alongside the 
deployment of the full strength of the Security Police command and the involvement of the 
camp staffs of Majdanek and Auschwitz meant that the 42,000 victims of 'Erntefest' were 
killed using exclusively German manpower; despite the presence of several battalion 
equivalents of Trawnikis in the vicinity of all three shooting sites. 451 The deployment of 

447 M&G, Majdanek, p.230. 

448 Pohl, 'Zwangsarbeitslager', p. 428; Pohl, Ostgalizien, pp. 359-60; Eisenbach, Hitlerowska polityka, p. 553. 

449 Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle, p. 520; cf. protokol doprosa, Roza Iuzefovna Langsam, 15.2.1945, GARF 7021- 
108-1, pp.l44-R. 

450 Felicja Karaj, Death Comes in Yellow. Skarzysko-Kamienna Slave Labor Camp. Amsterdam, 1996, p. 60; 
Angelina Awtuszewska-Ettrich, 'Plaszow', in: Benz/Distel (eds), Ort des Terrors Bd. 8, p. 276. On Plaszow in 
general see also Ryszard Kotarba, Niemiecki oboz w Plaszowie 1942-1945. Warsaw/Krakow: IPN, 2009. 

451 This was emphasised in almost all postwar investigations in West Germany. See Jochen Bohler, "Totentanz. 
Die Ermittlungen zur "Aktion Erntefest",' in Klaus-Michel Mallmann and Andrej Angrick (eds), Die Gestapo 
nach 1945. Karrieren, Konflikte, Konstruktionen. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2009, 
pp. 235-254. There are contradictory testimonies regarding the presence of Trawnikis in the sentry screens 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

outside forces totally militates against Mattogno's pathetic handwave of an explanation, and 
points directly to the real purpose: the slaughter of 42,000 Jewish prisoners in order to 
assuage the security paranoia of Heinrich Himmler. 

The Reichsfiihrer-SS, however, was unable to force through the mass murder of Jews 
employed in armaments factories or in directly war-related production. Osti, the major 
employer at Majdanek, Poniatowa and Trawniki, did not manufacture armaments, and 
accordingly could not hold on to its workforce when the SS panicked. 452 Nor could the 
Deutsche Ausriistungswerke at Janowska justify its continued existence as its output involved 
light manufacturing only. 453 By contrast, the forced labour camps at the oil refineries of 
Boryslaw and Drohobycz in the Galicia district 454 , as well as the forced labour camp at 
Budzyn in the Lublin district which produced aircraft components for Heinkel 455 , were all left 
untouched by 'Erntefest', as were the forced labour camps for heavy industry and armaments 
in the Radom district. 456 Indeed, the number of Jewish forced labourers employed in what 
was adjudged 'direct' armaments work rose from 22,444 in October 1943 to 27,439 in May 

surrounding the execution sites at Poniatowa and Trawniki. According to one SS NCO at Poniatowa, none were 
present. Vernehmungsniederschrift Stephan Baltzer, 14.4.1970, StA Hamburg 147 Js 43/69, Bd.85, p. 16115. 
According to one Trawniki also stationed at Poniatowa, the shooting was done by Germans while the Trawniki 
guards remained at their posts around the camp. Protokol doprosa, Ivan Vasilevich Lukanyuk, 12.4.1948, ASBU 
Ivano-Frankivsk 5072-2123, pp. 10-22. However, a rare survivor testimony from the same camp suggests that 
Trawnikis were involved in rousting Jews from hiding places in the barracks. Andrzej Zbikowski, 'Texts Buried 
in Oblivion. Testimonies of Two Refugees from the Mass Grave at Poniatowa', Holocaust. Studies and 
Materials, 1/2009, pp. 76-102, here p. 89. At Dorohucza, the camp was surrounded by a police unit who 
demanded that all Germans as well as Ukrainians surrender their weapons while the inmates were rounded up. 
The use of troops who had had no personal contact with the inmates was thus evidently a deliberate strategy. Cf. 
Vernehmung Robert Juhrs, 13.10.1961,BAL B162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd.8, pp.1486-7. Juhrs had previously 
served at Belzec. 

452 On the Osti firm, see see Jan-Erik Schulte, 'Zwangsarbeit fur die SS. Juden in der Ostindustrie GmbH' in: 
Norbert Frei et al (eds), Ausbeutung, Vernichtung, Oeffentlichkeit. Neue Studien zur nationalsozialistischen 
Lagerpolitik. Munich: KG Saur, 2000, pp.41-74. 

453 Jahresbericht 1943 DAW Lemberg, BA NS3/146, p.34. 

454 On these camps see Rainer Karlsch, 'Ein vergessenes Grossunternehmen. Die Geschichte der Karpaten Oel- 
AG', Jahrbuch fur Wirtschaftsgeschichte, 2004/1, pp.95-138, as well as the older work by East German 
historian Hanns-Heinz Kasper, 'Die Auspliinderung polnischer und sowjetischer Erdollagerstatten im Gebiet der 
Vorkarpaten durch den deutschen Imperialismus im zweiten Weltkrieg', Jahrbuch fur Wirtschaftsgeschichte 
1978/11, pp.41-64. 

455 Lutz Budrass, ' "Arbeitskrafte konnen aus der reichlich vorhandenen jiidischen Bevolkerung gewonnen 
werden'. Das Heinkel-Werk in Budzyn 1942-1944', Jahrbuch fur Wirtschaftsgeschichte 1, 2004, pp.41-64; 
Wojciech Lenarczyk, 'Budzyn' in Wolfgang Benz and Barbara Distel (eds), Der Ort des Terrors. Geschichte 
der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager. Band 7. Munich: C.H. Beck, 2007, pp. 89-92. 

456 Adam Rutkowski, 'Hitlerowskie obozy pracy dla zydow w dystrykcie radomskim', Biuletyn ZIH 17/18, 
1956, pp. 106-128; cf. Seidel, Deutsche Besatzungspolitik, pp. 353-365. There are now several detailed studies of 
individual camps. On Skarzysko-Kamienna see Felicja Karaj, Death Comes in Yellow. Skarzysko-Kamienna 
Slave Labor Camp. Amsterdam, 1996; on the Kielce camp see Felicja Karaj, 'Heaven or Hell? The Two Faces 
of the HASAG-Kielce Camp', Yad Vashem Studies XXXII, 2004, pp. 269-321 ; on Starachowice see Browning, 
Remembering Survival. 


Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland 

1944 457 , as Jewish slave labourers engaged in non-armaments work were transferred to the 
arms factories, including the aforementioned 4,000 prisoners transferred from the Krakow 
district to Skarzysko-Kamienna in November 1943, and after 1,500 Jews were transferred 
from the Lodz ghetto to Skarzysko-Kamienna in March 1944. 458 

That Mattogno thinks citing this fact can in any way negate the murder of 42,000 
prisoners is eloquent testimony to the hopeless, desperate position in which he finds himself 
when attempting to play shell games with 'resettled' and 'transferred' Jews. In 1942, at the 
height of Aktion Reinhard, he is wholly unable to prove that the mass deportation of more 
than 1.2 million Jews was anything like a 'resettlement' to the 'Russian east', as we will see 
further in Chapter 4. In 1943-44, he also cannot account for the progressive decimation of the 
surviving 400,000 Jews of the Generalgouvernement and Bialystok district down to an 
insignificant fraction of the former size of the Jewish population of these regions. If the 
survivors were more and more productively employed in direct armaments work, then this 
only demonstrates how labour and extermination could be at least partially harmonised, even 
as Himmler forced through the progressive destruction of the remnant population to satisfy 
his ideologically driven paranoia. 459 In the summer of 1944, the remaining few tens of 
thousands of Jewish armaments workers were evacuated into the concentration camp system, 
largely via Auschwitz - whereupon their fate was submerged into another context entirely. 460 

This chapter has exposed Carlo Mattogno for his ignorance of the sources and 
literature concerning Aktion Reinhard and raised serious questions about his honesty on a 
number of occasions. Mattogno's approach to the sources bears all the signs of 
pseudoscholarship: bizarrely contorted interpretations of documents which do not find any 
support in the texts or which are flatly contradicted by the texts; the extremely selective use 
of sources, omitting anything which might prove inconvenient to his thesis; and a failure to 

457 Piotr Matusak, Przemysl na ziemiach polskich w latach II wojny swiatowej, Tom 1, Warsaw/Siedlce, 2009, 
p. 207; Hilberg, Vernichtung, p. 563. 

458 H.Biebow an Hauessler, Litzmannstadt, 18.3.1944, published in Tatiana Berenstein, Artur Eisenbach and 
Adam Rutkowski (eds), Eksterminacja Zydow na ziemiach polskich w okresie okupacji hitlerowskiej. Zbior 
dokumentov, Warsaw, 1957, p. 256; Karaj, Death Comes In Yellow, p. 66. 

459 When Mattogno claims apropos 'Erntefest' that "the alleged mass executions make no sense economically" 
(M&G, Majdanek, p.226ff), he will do little more than provoke a hollow laugh from anyone familiar with the 
personality and ideology of Heinrich Himmler. Evidently, Mattogno has not grasped several basic facts about 
the Holocaust which are apparent to one and all, not least of which was its immense irrationality. 

460 On the evacuation of the surviving camps see Golczewski, 'Polen', pp.481-9; on the evacuation of the 
Radom district labour camps, see Seidel, Deutsche Besatzungspolitik, pp. 367-370. Only the camp at 
Czestochowa remained unaffected by the evacuations, and was liberated with 5,200 survivors, of whom 1518 
were from Czestochowa itself. The only other location in the whole of occupied Poland where Jews were 
liberated from Nazi captivity was Lodz in the Warthegau, where 877 survivors retained for clean-up work after 
the liquidation of the ghetto were freed. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

substantiate his own claims of 'resettlement' and connect them to hard, meaningful evidence. 
In this regard, our scrutiny of his arguments about the origins, planning and implementation 
of Aktion Reinhard has come to much the same result as the previous chapter's examination 
of his portrayal of Nazi Jewish policy and the origins of the Final Solution in general. 

Several points need to be reiterated at this stage. Firstly, if Mattogno wishes to take 
part in debates with the big boys, he needs to demonstrate a far greater familiarity with the 
literature and sources than is currently the case. He also needs to acquaint himself with both 
the organisational culture of the SS and the polycratic structure of the National Socialist 
regime, since time and again his (quite possibly deliberate) misunderstandings are based on a 
flawed grasp of both of these things. In Sobibor, for example, he advances an absolutely 
nonsensical understanding of the chain of command involved in Aktion Reinhard and other 
extermination camps which is simply laughable to anyone familiar with Nazi-era German 
military, police or SS organisational structures. 461 It is perhaps harder to criticise his lack of 
grasp of the economic context of Aktion Reinhard, simply because he doesn't have any grasp 
whatsoever of how the food and labour factors alternately accelerated then marginally slowed 
the process of destruction. 

Although we have demonstrated Mattogno 's ignorance and duplicity on a great many 
points, this chapter has not touched on many quite important incidents and sources - in part 
deliberately. For if Mattogno and his colleagues wish to be taken seriously, they will have to 
do considerably better than dig into their bag of tricks for an 'undebunked' point, but must 
instead show how the totality of the evidence is to be interpreted. We do not anticipate that 
this will happen, but that's the price of admission, folks. 

Much the same, of course, can be said for MGK's attempts to spin out their 
'resettlement thesis' into the occupied Soviet territories, to which this critique now turns. 

461 MGK, Sobibor, pp. 251-2. The key flaw in his comprehension lies in not realising the distinction between line 
commands and technical lines of communication. Support agencies like the Kriminaltechnische Institut of the 
RSHA provided logistical support and advice. They were not in the vertical chain of command at all, but instead 
stood horizontally in relation to other agencies. Much the same can be said for the role played by the T4 
organisation vis-a-vis the Aktion Reinhard camp staff; these men continued to receive pay via T4, i.e. the 
euthanasia organisation remained involved administratively. If this does not compute with either Mattogno or 
his fans, then we will make the following analogy: placing agencies such as the KTI into the chain of command 
for the extermination camps is as utterly moronic as claiming that the Heereswaffenamt was in charge of a 
panzer division on the Eastern Front. 


Chapter 4 

So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to 

the East 

The Excruciatingly Slow Evolution of the Revisionist "Resettlement" Thesis 

As with their fixation on physical evidence (graves and gas chambers), the denier 
"hypothesis" of Nazi resettlement of Jews through transit camps is a relatively recently 
phenomenon as it underwent an excruciatingly slow evolution through Revisionist writings. 
Arthur Butz was the first Revisionist to detail such an argument, writing in 1976 that instead 
of an extermination program, "the German policy was to evacuate the Jews to the East." 1 
Butz primarily drew this conclusion from the minutes of the Wannsee Conference 2 , a few 
wartime newspaper articles 3 , and the 1943 document referencing Sobibor as a transit camp. 4 
In sketching out this supposed resettlement policy, Butz speculates that the destinations of the 
deportees (whom he counts one million non-Polish Jews) were stretched along a connected 
line in the occupied Soviet territories, including areas such as Riga, Minsk, Ukraine, and the 
Sea of Azov. 5 The ultimate fate of these deportees varied, according to Butz, but his work 
suggests that the majority were either assimilated into the Soviet Union, or emigrated to the 
United States and Israel. 6 

While Butz's work proved to be popular among deniers, the particular argument on 
resettlement appears to not have been well received, judging by its omission from other 
Revisionist works during the 1970s and 1980s. Indeed, the major denier work to explain the 
fate of European Jews during the war was by German- American Walter Sanning, who wrote 

1 Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, p. 260. 

2 See Chapter 2, section The Europe-Wide Final Solution. 

3 Most of the ones Butz cites (p. 260 n.371) are dated from 1941 and early 1942, no doubt related to the 
deportation of German Jews. 

4 Himmler an Pohl, 5.7.43, NO-482. As was noted in Chapter 2, this is an irrelevancy because, for example, 
Soldau had previously been referred to as a "transit camp" but was also a gassing site. 

5 Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, p. 267. Butz is unclear on the total figure of Jewish deportees for his 
resettlement program, excluding Polish Jews from his count due to their alleged similarity with Soviet Jews, as 
well as pre-1941 deportations and evacuations. 

6 Ibid., pp.271-276. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry in 1983. Even in 2002, Mattogno wrote that 
Sanning's work was "the most comprehensive" Revisionist study regarding Jewish 
population losses during the war. 7 Sanning is also recommended as a source in Sobibor. 8 In 
contrast to a supposed Nazi resettlement policy (which was ignored completely in his work), 
Sanning used demographic arguments in order to state that Nazi Germany never ruled enough 
Jews in order to kill six million. The chief target of his analysis was Polish Jews, who were 
the primary victims of the death camps, and hence, also the majority of the deportees in a 
resettlement hypothesis. Sanning's feeble attempts to arbitrarily lower the number of Polish 
Jews under Nazi rule have already been refuted, so no extra comments on his work are 
necessary. 9 Such an effort by Sanning to reduce the number of Jews living in Nazi occupied 
Europe is also reminiscent of similar efforts by Paul Rassinier, whose work The Drama of 
European Jews originally appeared in 1964 and similarly ignored a "resettlement" 
hypothesis. 10 Still, the arguments by Sanning, particularly his claim that only some 757,000 
Polish Jews lived in the General Government 11 , clash with MGK's belief that more than 
twice that number of Polish Jews was resettled. 

During the late 1980s, 1990s, and even the 2000s, the Revisionist scene showed clear 
variations regarding the issue of resettlement, perhaps set back by the strictly demographic 
argument of Rassinier and Sanning. This manifested itself through levels of ambivalence and 
confusion in Revisionist works. Some efforts during this time period reflect Sanning-type 
arguments to show that Jewish populations remained in Europe, or were unharmed. Such was 
the case with Rudolf and Graf's reliance upon a February 1946 news report which mistakenly 
added a zero to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry's total of Jews living in postwar 
Poland. 12 Indeed, Sanning was held up in tandem with propositions of resettlement by both 
Rudolf and Graf. 13 For some Revisionists that accepted Jewish deportations to the occupied 

7 M&G, Treblinka, p.295 n.916. 

8 MGK, Sobibor, p.58 n.1063. 

9 Cf. the blog series by Jonathan Harrison, 'The Crazy World of Walter Sanning,' Holocaust Controversies, 
http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.eom/2006/04/quick-links.html#sanning . 

10 Rassinier, Drame desjuifs europeens. 

11 Walter N. Sanning, The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry, Costa Mesa: Institute for Historical Review, 
1990, p.44. 

12 The Committee's report reported 80,000 Jews left in Poland. Graf and Rudolf cite the news article's figure of 
800,000. 'Appendix II: European Jewry-Position in Various Countries,' Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry: 
Report to the United States Government and His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, 1946; Graf, 
Giant, p. 110; Germar Rudolf (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust, 2 nd revised edition, Chicago: Theses & 
Dissertations, 2003, 'Holocaust Victims: A Statistical Analysis: W. Benz and W.N. Sanning', p. 195. 

13 Rudolf (ed), Dissecting the Holocaust, pp. 207-208; Jiirgen Graf, Der Holocaust auf dem Priifstand. 
Augenzeugenberichte versus Naturgesetze. Basel: Guideon-Burg-Verl., 1993, pp. 61-62. For a study of the real 
postwar situation of Polish Jews, see Lucjan Dobroszycki, Survivors of the Holocaust in Poland: A Portrait 
Based on Jewish Community Records, 1944-1947. New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1994. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

Eastern territories, the issue of what actually happened to them following their alleged arrival 
in the East was entirely elided, despite Butz's suggestions. One such example can be found in 
Mattogno's two part essay on 'The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews' in the late 1980s, 
where deportations are briefly discussed, largely based on the Korherr report, but nothing is 
stated over the deportees' eventual fate. 14 

Confusion over the fate of the deported Jews remained even after more detailed 
arguments for "resettlement" appeared. In 1990, Steffen Werner published a book theorizing 
that the Third Reich had deported millions of Jews (a set figure is not clear in the work) into 
Belorussia, and that those Jews were still held captive by the Soviet government at the time 
of his writing. 15 As Werner makes clear, his argument is entirely based upon "circumstantial 
evidence," and very weakly at that. 16 In 1993, although Graf wrote that Werner's book had to 
be used "with caution," overall he supported the thesis of Jews being transported and left in 
the occupied Soviet territories, simply noting that numerous unanswered questions about the 
fate of the missing Jews existed. 17 Werner's thesis has not been officially supported by 
leading Revisionist writers, but instead has been used as a "first step" of research into the 
subject of resettlement. 

In the early 1990s, some arguments of resettlement were focused directly upon the 
Aktion Reinhard camps, specifically Treblinka (which was also included by Werner). 18 In 
1990 Udo Walendy published an article arguing that a transit camp (Malkinia) existed just a 
few miles north of the Treblinka death camp, and that deportees actually arrived in the 
Malkinia transit camp to be deported to the East (not Treblinka). 19 Over time Walendy' s 
Malkinia gambit has been picked up by some deniers, 20 including Mattogno and Graf, 21 but 
not all (such as Kues). 22 Another article from the same period (1992) by Mark Weber and 
Andrew Allen utilized some of Walendy' s arguments to support their view that Treblinka 

14 Carlo Mattogno, 'The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews: Part I'; Carlo Mattogno, 'The Myth of the 
Extermination of the Jews: Part II,' Journal of Historical Review, 8/3, 1988, pp. 261-302. 

15 Steffen Werner, The Second Babylonian Captivity: The Fate of the Jews in Eastern Europe Since 1941, 
Pfullingen, 1990, p. 5. 

16 Ibid., 180. Not even MGK support Werner's thesis, Sobibor, p. 359. 

17 Graf, Der Holocaust aufdem Prufstand, p 62. 

18 Werner, The Second Babylonian Captivity, pp. 70-71, p. 171. 

19 Udo Walendy, 'Der Fall Treblinka,' Historische Tatsachen, 44, 1990. 

20 Cf. Arnulf Neumaier, "The Treblinka Holocaust,' in Germar Rudolf (ed), Dissecting the Holocaust, 2 nd 
revised edition, Chicago: Theses & Dissertations, 2003, pp.477, 500. 

21 See their section title 'Deportations from the ghetto of Bialystok and the Transit Camp Malkinia,' on p. 288 of 

"" As previously mentioned, CODOH poster 'Laurentz DahP is revisionist writer Thomas Kues. . 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

was a "transit camp." 23 Weber and Allen used "mainstream" sources (historians and court 
judgments) to show that some Jews deported to Treblinka were selected and transferred to 
other concentration camps. The duo also cited letters and postcards from Jews deported from 
the Warsaw ghetto to settlements in the occupied Soviet territories (presumably transported 
through Treblinka, according to Weber and Allen). 24 

More detailed argumentation was offered for the resettlement "hypothesis" in the 
early/mid 1990s by Enrique Aynat and Jean-Marie Boisdefeu. 25 Both authors largely relied 
upon wartime news reports in order to support their notions that Jews were transported en 
masse to the East through the extermination camps. Boisdefeu plainly admitted that 
documents were severely lacking to support such a resettlement program (hence he declares it 
a "hypothesis") and recognized that news reports were all that was available. 26 Many of the 
contemporary and clandestine sources of evidence that these deniers used were later 
employed by MGK in their works (both with and without proper reference), as directly 
admitted in the praise for the two "undaunted revisionist researchers" offered in Sobibor. 27 
Aynat and Boisdefeu both found areas of eastern Poland and the western USSR (particularly 
Belarus, Ukraine, and the Baltic) to be the likely resettlement destinations. Boisdefeu also 
theorized that western Jews were forcefully deported by the Soviets after the war into Siberia 
for labor. 28 

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, no doubt inspired by a sense of optimism from the 
work of Aynat and Boisdefeu, there was a resurgence of interest among Revisionists in the 
fate of Jews deported to the Nazi extermination camps. In 1999, Jiirgen Graf published a 
piece on the fate of unregistered Hungarian Jews who were deported to Auschwitz in 1944. 29 
After citing, from Boisdefeu and Aynat, several of the wartime news reports referencing 
European Jews in the occupied Soviet territories (which Graf calls "all the same" as wartime 
German documents in support of a resettlement thesis), a documented May 1944 transport of 

23 Mark Weber and Andrew Allen, 'Treblinka,' Journal of Historical Review, 12/2 (1992), pp. 133-158. 

24 These postcards are also discussed by Kues in 'Evidence for the Presence of "Gassed" Jews in the Occupied 
Eastern Territories: Part II', Inconvenient History, 2/4, 2010. In both cases, the deniers show gullibility and 
excessive credulity towards the provenance of a dubious source that suits their arguments. 

25 Enrique Aynat, 'Considerations sur la deportation des juifs de France et de Belgique a Test de l'Europe en 
1942,' Akribeia, http://www.vho.Org/F/i/Akribeia/2/Aynat5-59.html ; Jean-Marie Boisdefeu, 'La Controverse 
Sur L' Extermination des Juifs par les Allemands,' 1996 VHO lecture, . 

26 Aynat, 'Considerations sur la deportation des juifs de France et de Belgique a Test de l'Europe en 1942,' 

27 MGK, Sobibor, p.364. 

28 Boisdefeu, 'La Controverse Sur L 'Extermination Des Juifs Pas Les Allemands,' pp. 88-90. 

29 Jiirgen Graf, 'Insights on the 1944 Deportations of Hungarian Jews: What Happened to the Jews Who Were 
Deported to Auschwitz But Were Not Registered There?' Journal of Historical Review, 19/4, 2000: Graf.html . 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

French Jews to the Baltic containing children, as well as falsely interpreting a handful of 
German documents, 30 Graf proclaims that "almost certainly" Auschwitz and the Reinhard 
camps served as transit camps to deport Jews into the occupied Eastern territories. Graf also 
used the argument of Weber and Allen, citing the transfer of a few hundred laborers from 
Treblinka to concentration camps (i.e., Majdanek) as proof of its transit purpose. To explain 
the ultimate fate of these deportees, Graf suggests that Polish Jews voluntarily stayed in the 
Soviet Union and approvingly references Werner and Boisdefeu's speculation that Jews from 
Western Europe were rounded up and deported to Siberian labor camps by the Soviets after 
the war. Graf recognized though that without proper documentation, such a far-fetched 
scenario would only remain a "thesis." 

Graf's brief summary of the Revisionist arguments for resettlement would set the tone 
for the works he co-authored on the Reinhard camps during the 2000s with Carlo Mattogno 
and Thomas Kues, wherein most of the points offered in support of an alternative function to 
the camps were unoriginal in Revisionist literature. While some Revisionists still quibble 
with addressing the resettlement issue and the ultimate fate of Jews under Nazi occupation, 31 
the important step that MGK have taken in their books and articles is to spend substantial 
time addressing such issues in connection with more negationist-type arguments. 32 Such 
efforts can be viewed as a part of Mattogno's push for a new "affirmationist" Revisionism. 33 
Of course, the fact that MGK have given the issue more prominence than others should not 
be taken to mean that their arguments are valid or truthful, as the reader shall quickly see. 

"Resettlement" for MGK 

In attacking the work of Holocaust historians regarding the death camps, MGK deride them 
for "creating a historiographical picture out of selected pieces of eyewitness testimony and a 
handful of arbitrarily interpreted documents." 34 Unfortunately, the trio's resettlement thesis is 
guilty of exactly that, as will be shown throughout the remainder of this chapter. Contrary to 
their finger pointing at historians' selective use of witness testimony, for example, MGK are 

30 Graf's reliance on the few documents also comes as he feels "convinced" that the Allies destroyed Nazi 
documents related to resettlement. 

31 Wilfried Heink, 'Well, where are they then?' Inconvenient History Blog, May 31, 2010, . Thomas Kues also justified such hesitancy 
over the issue, stating that revisionists are not under a "moral obligation" to address such an issue. See his first 
section in his 'Evidence for the Presence of "Gassed" Jews in the Occupied Eastern Territories': Part 1, 
Inconvenient History, 2/2, Part 2 Inconvenient History, 21 A, 2010. 

32 See M&G, Treblinka, pp.275-299; MGK, Sobibor, pp.347-374; And see Kues, 'Evidence', Parts 1 & 2. 

33 Mattogno uses such a term to describe his recent works on the Auschwitz camp. Of course, serious history (as 
opposed to pseudohistory) needs no such designation, as detailing actual events already forms the basis of it. 

34 MGK, Sobibor, p. 106. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

brazen enough to spin witness accounts of the death camps and gas chambers as evidence of 
transit camps. 35 Indeed, despite their recognition of "the necessity of comparing the witness 
accounts with available material evidence," MGK fail to properly use either type of evidence 
in their own propositions. 36 They also exhibit not only ignorance of the realities behind the 
Eastern front, where they think some two million Jews could easily be resettled into, but they 
also ignore several documents which clearly dispel such notions. 

One of the many glaring deficiencies of their resettlement hypothesis is MGK's 
reliance upon a handful of wartime news sources referencing deportations to the East, which 
the trio takes to be part of a resettlement program. The actual destinations of the deportees are 
very rarely specified in the reports, an indication of how weak the information was to MGK's 
sources (due to the limited amount of available information), and how feebly such articles 
serve as evidence. 37 Also, as has been noted earlier, such sources tend to be some of the least 
reliable forms of evidence that one could use in retrospect for an event, due to the limited and 
speculated information available at the time of their writing. An analogy would be to study 
and cite American news reports during the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq in the period 
of 2002 and early 2003; of course one might well conclude from the reports that weapons of 
mass destruction existed in Iraq at the time of the invasion. Such a conclusion would be based 
solely on an artificially limited (and hence, distorted) survey of available sources. 

Similarly to the 2003 Iraqi war comparison, many news reports during the Second 
World War changed their conclusions as more information was made available to them. The 
American Jewish Yearbook, one source which MGK quote-mine and distort in their works, 
focused more and more on the Nazi extermination policy against the Jews as time went on. 38 
The Judisk Kronika similarly described Nazi killings of Jews later in the war through 
shooting as well as gassing, as Kues admits (but, of course, disagrees with). 39 Kues has even 

35 See the section Hypocritical Use of Witness Evidence, Chapter 6. 

36 MGK, Sobibor, p.106. 

37 Some articles cited by Kues in part II, section 3.1 of his series: 1943 American Jewish Yearbook, "sent farther 
east"; 1944 American Jewish Yearbook, "occupied Soviet territories,"; October 1942 Israelitisches Wochenblatt 
fur die Schweiz, "occupied Russian territory," "other destinations"; November 1942 Israelitisches Wochenblatt 
fur die Schweiz, "former Polish-Russian border zone," June 1943 New York Times, communique from Belgian 
exile government stating Belgian Jews sent to concentration camps in Germany, Poland, and occupied Russian 

38 Jason Myers, 'MGK's Distortion of a Source in support of 'Resettlement',' Holocaust Controversies, 2.6.11, . 

39 Kues, 'Evidence, Part II,' 3.1.3. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

used two Soviet and communist reports describing the shooting of European Jews in the 
Baltic as evidence for resettlement, so desperate he is from a lack of sources. 40 

One of the most popular wartime sources for 'resettlement' among deniers at the 
present time is the 1943 work of Canadian demographer Eugene Kulischer, who wrote a 
study on population movements at the time in Europe with information that was made 
available to him by various institutions. 41 In Kulischer's report he accepted that hundreds of 
thousands of Jews had been transported to the occupied Eastern territories by the Third 
Reich, not certain that any other fate was possible. 42 The credibility of these institutions' 
limited information from wartime Europe, as common sense would dictate, was questionable 
due to its clandestine nature. Rumours and hearsay statements were placed on an equal level 
with direct testimonies and sources, thus muddling fact and fiction. Kulischer also lacked any 
official and independent demographic sources to corroborate the wartime reports regarding 
wartime population movements, and thus was only presented an extremely narrow picture of 
the contemporary events in Europe. Despite Mattogno's claim that the work was written 
"with scientific exactitude and is undergirded by a copious documentation," 43 Kulischer 
wrote in the introduction to his work that the limits of the evidence for his work meant that 
his study "must necessarily be regarded in many ways as of a preliminary and provisional 
nature." 44 

MGK's heavy reliance on Kulischer (who recognized the limitations of his own study, 
and even suspected Nazi exterminations) shows how desperate the trio is for evidence of 
resettlement. Indeed, Kulischer himself discarded his former ideas once better information 
came out of Europe, calculating in a 1948 publication that 5.5 million Jews had been 
exterminated by the Nazis. 45 This does not stop MGK from spamming thousands of words 
from Kulischer's 1943 report in their books and articles (a common feature of Mattogno and 

40 See Kues, 'Evidence, Part II,' 3.2.2 - 3.2.3. Kues cites them to show European Jews in the Baltics that 'should 
not have been there' without resettlement. The possibility of the Baltics serving as a resettlement site will be 
looked at in some depth later on. 

41 Eugene M. Kulischer, The Displacement of Population in Europe, Montreal: International Labour Office, 
1943. For further debunking of the Kulischer gambit, see Roberto Muehlenkamp, '«Evidence for the Presence 
of "Gassed" Jews in the Occupied Eastern Territories» (3, 1),' Holocaust Controversies, 15.6.10, 15.html . 

42 Despite M&G's claim that Kulischer never spoke of an extermination policy against the Jews (M&G, 
Treblinka, 273), on p. Ill of his The Displacement of Population in Europe, Kulischer wrote that "It is hardly 
possible to distinguish how far the changes in the Jewish population of the General Government are due to 
deportation and how far they are attributable to "ordinary" mortality and extermination. Moreover, the 
number of Jews remaining in the General Government is in any case uncertain." Emphasis added. 

43 M&G, Treblinka, p.268. 

44 Kulischer, The Displacement, p.4. 

45 Eugene Kulischer, Europe on the Move: War and Population Changes, 1917-1947, New York: Columbia 
University, 1948, p. 279. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Kues' work). 46 It is likely that MGK picked up on the Kulischer gambit from Enrique Aynat 
in his 1994 Considerations sur la deportation des juifs de France et de Belgique a Vest de 
VEurope en 1942, which was the first denier work to reference Kulischer in support of the 
resettlement thesis. 47 Aynat's reference was then used by Jean-Marie Boisdefeu in a 1996 
VHO lecture as well. 48 The recent usage of Kulischer stands in stark contrast to the 
comments of early denier David Hoggan, who called Kulischer' s demographic work "pure 
guess-work," and declared it to be "a highly untrustworthy source for serious scholars." 49 As 
Hoggan's comments related to Kulischer's post-war work, when more sources of better 
evidentiary value were available, one can treble such comments regarding his 1943 work. 

MGK also have attempted to provide documentary evidence for their counterfactual 
scenario. It should be noted at the onset that MGK themselves admit that the handful of 
documents they utilize still do not prove resettlement. 50 Indeed, as shown earlier, they 
misinterpret several documents related to the deportations of Jews. 51 One of their 
misconstrued points relates to the deportation of French Jews in 1942, which although 
indirectly relevant to the Aktion Reinhard camps, are still appropriate to the wider 
resettlement issue. As Mattogno is fond of pointing out 52 , French Jews were initially deported 
to Auschwitz primarily for labor purposes during that year, as shown by the large numbers of 
French Jews selected to stay in the camp. 53 While Mattogno believes that children were 
originally deported into the General Government instead of only Auschwitz, the documents 
that he cites do not bear this out; while there originally may have been such a plan 54 , once 

46 MGK, Sobibor, pp.334-344 (3,298 words of quotes from Kulischer); M&G, Treblinka, pp.268-273 (1,515 
words); Kues, 'Evidence, Part 1,' 3.2.1 (344 words). 

47 Enrique Aynat, 'Considerations sur la deportation des juifs de France et de Belgique a Test de l'Europe en 
1942,' Akribeia, 2, March 1998, pp. 5-59. The scant earlier references (such as in Sanning or Werner) regarded 
issues tertiary to direct resettlement. 

48 Boisdefeu, 'La Controverse Sur L 'Extermination Des Juifs Pas Les Allemands.' 

49 David Hoggan, The Myth of the Six Million,, 1969, p. 37. 

50 Cf. Carlo Mattogno, 'Belzec or the Holocaust Controversy of Roberto Muehlenkamp': "If there were 
documents on "at least 434,000 Jews" being transported from Belzec "to the east", the controversy which has 
caused me to write my study would not exist: Belzec would unquestionably be considered nothing more than a 
transit camp"; "Regarding their precise destination (of Jewish deportees to the East) there exist - as noted by me 
- no documentation, but there are several indications, as shown in my book on Treblinka, and in particular the 
sixth section of Chapter VIII." 

51 See Chapter 3. 

52 M&G, Treblinka, pp.247-250; MGK, Sobibor, p.294. 

53 Czech, Kalendarium, passim. Of course, those not selected were gassed. 

54 Dannecker's 21 July 1942 record of a prior telephone conversation with Adolf Eichmann records that "as 
soon as transportation into the General Gouvernement is again possible, transports of children can get moving." 
Trial of Adolf Eichmann file T/37(26), Minutes by Eichmann and Dannecker on their discussion concerning the 
deportation of Jews from France; Paris, 1.7.1942, RF1223, also T/429. As argued in Graf, 'What Happened to 
the Jews'; M&G, Treblinka, p. 251; MGK, Sobibor, p. 295; Mattogno, Auschwitz: The Case for Sanity, p. 654. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

children began to deported from France, their only destination was Auschwitz. 55 By mid 
August, a transport departed Drancy to Auschwitz containing "children for the first time." 56 
Theodor Dannecker's goal of a final solution with a "total extermination of the (Jewish) 
adversary" was thus coming true. 57 

Furthermore on the French Jews, Mattogno cites a September 1, 1942 note from SS- 
Untersturmfiihrer Ahnert in the RSHA department IV B 4, recorded in the wake of a 28 
August 1942 conference at the RSHA. 58 The document records Eichmann's wish to include 
material in the transports so as to build barracks for the deportees, as a "camp is supposed to 
be set up in Russia." 59 On the face of it, the document looks to be a smoking gun of 
transports into the occupied Soviet territories. Unfortunately for Mattogno, there is more to 
the source than meets the eye. First of all, if a camp was still to be set up in Russia in 
September 1942, then one could effectively rule out any previous resettlement camps for the 
supposed hundreds of thousands of deportees already resettled by that period. However, a 
pre-meeting instruction to Ahnert from Paris Gestapo chief Heinz Roethke speaks of the 
construction of barracks at a camp in Diisseldorf (in the Rhineland). 60 Even before Roethke 's 
August 26, 1942, message to Ahnert an August 17, 1942 document from RSHA financial 
officer Standartenfiihrer Dr. Siegert speaks of French Jews being evacuated into a "special 
collection camp" in the western part of the Reich, due to safety concerns. 61 The materials for 
the construction of this camp were to be sent from France, in order to save on costs. Given 
the documents from Roethke and Siegert, Ahnert' s mention of a camp in Russia is certainly a 
mistake for the Rhineland, where Diisseldorf is located (Rheinland for Russland in German). 
Thus, there was no camp in Russia, as the French Jews were not even going to make it that 
far east. 

55 See Giinther's 13 August 1942 telegram to SS officials in Paris regarding the deportation of Jewish children, 
where he states that such children could "gradually be deported to Auschwitz", T/443. 

56 Roethke to Eichmann reporting the departure of a train from Le Bourget-Drancy to Auschwitz with 1,000 
Jews, Paris, 14.8.42, T/444. 

57 IV J, Abstellung von rollendem Material fuer Judentransporte, 13.5.1942, gez. Dannecker, in Serge Klarsfeld 
(ed), Die Endlosung der Judenfrage in Frankreich. Deutsche Dokumente 1941-1944. Paris, 1977, p. 56 (CDJC 
XXVb-29), also in Hilberg, Sonderziige nach Auschwitz, pp. 153-4. 

58 The document is also cited as evidence of resettlement by Graf, 'Insights on the 1944 Deportations of 
Hungarian Jews.' 

59 Report of the SS-Untersturmfuhrer Horst Ahnert of 1 September 1942, T/451. The document has been cited 
in M&G, Treblinka, p.251; Mattogno, Hilberg, p. 74. 

60 As discussed on Day 26 of the Irving-Lipstadt trial, the eigth point of the document read: "When can we count 
on the construction of the barracks of the Diisseldorf camp? Has construction already been commenced? Where 
exactly will the camp be situated?" See the trial transcripts for p. 46, available at: . 

61 Cf. Kurt Patzold and Erika Schwarz, Auschwitz war mich nur ein Bahnhof, Berlin: Metropol 1994. It is likely 
from this point that able-bodied Jews could be sent to Auschwitz or other necessary destinations, while non- 
capable Jews could be sent to other destinations. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Another hurdle for MGK's resettlement thesis is the ambiguity that exists over who 
were to be deported. In sections that Mattogno writes, he makes several points specifying 
those to be deported beyond the AR camps and Auschwitz as being unfit for labor. 62 Kues 
and Graf, however, often refer to deportations from the death sites to labor camps or related 
work projects in the occupied Soviet territories. Such examples include a reclamation scheme 

CO C/\ f?C 

with the Pripyat Marshes , the Vievis labor camp , harvest work in the Ukraine , the 
Vaivara labor complex in Estonia 66 , the Lenta labor camp in Latvia 67 , and other general 
military work projects 68 , including those in close proximity to the frontline. 69 We suggest that 
before offering their baseless speculation of resettlement, MGK actually confer with one 
another to decide who was actually to be resettled in such a program. 

While MGK often cite the deportations of German Jews in 1941-1942 to selected 
areas in the occupied Eastern territories as evidence against extermination 70 , they do not seem 
to realize the significance of these deportations in relation to their idea of resettlement. 
Despite their own admission, MGK never grapple with the fact that the deportation of 66,200 
Jews from the Altreich, Ostmark, and the Protectorate proceeded to their destinations without 
stopping in Auschwitz or the AR camps. 71 Why 3% of the "number of Jews deported to the 
occupied Eastern territories" would not travel through one of the Revisionist deemed transit 
camps (Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor, or Chelmno) remains unexplained in their 
work. Several transports using the Bialystok to Minsk line travelled just 4 km away from 
Treblinka, but never stopped in the camp for any type of delousing, which MGK assume 
occurred there for hundreds of thousands of others. Instead, MGK believe that these trains 
were deported directly to their destinations in the East (i.e. Riga and Minsk), "w/o (sic) any 
stop-over in a camp." 72 Unfortunately, this is not correct, as some of the Jews deported to 
Minsk actually changed trains at Wolkowysk station in what is today western Belarus. 73 

MGK never significantly discuss the hundreds of transports that travelled westwards 
to the death camps, whilst they argue that these deportees were all sent eastwards. This led 

62 Cf. MGK, Sobibor, p.291, pp.296-297, p.298, p.326; M&G, Treblinka, p.230, p.237, p.248, p.290. 

63 MGK, Sobibor, p.358. 

64 Ibid., pp.367-368; Kues, 'Evidence, Part I,' 3.3.1. 

65 MGK, Sobibor, p.361. 

66 Kues, 'Evidence, Part I,' 3.3.7. 

67 Kues, 'Evidence, Part II,' 3.3.14. 

68 MGK, Sobibor, p.361. 

69 Kues, 'Evidence, Part I,' fn. 1. 

70 M&G, Treblinka, pp.191-199, 241; MGK, Sobibor, pp.214-215, 348. 

71 MGK, Sobibor, p.307. 

72 Ibid., p.353; Kues, 'Evidence, Part I,' 2.5. 

73 RBD Konigsberg, Fahrplananordnung Nr. 62, 13.7.42, NARB 378-1-784, p.234. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

several groups of Jews (i.e. from Galicia, Romania, Bialystok, Ostland, etc) to head in the 
completely wrong direction from the eastern territories in 1942 and 1943, something illogical 
from the perspective of a resettlement program. Indeed, a reasonable estimate would be that 
at least 500,000 Jews were transported westward to the extermination camps during these 
years. 74 These westward transports to the camps have been discussed in Holocaust literature 
for decades, including in works that have been cited (and we hope read) by MGK. 75 
Mattogno has only briefly discussed a fraction of these westward transports (those from 
Bialystok in August 1943), where he says they were simply deported into the Lublin area via 
Treblinka. 76 Despite the incorrect statement 77 , one should not expect Lublin to be the ultimate 
resettlement destination for hundreds of thousands of Jews. It should also be remembered that 
at a time when there was a transport moratorium of eastbound trains into the occupied Soviet 
territories from December 1942 to January 1943, thousands of Jews were being brought 
westwards to Treblinka. These are the 10,335 Jews brought to Treblinka during the last 
weeks of 1942, as recorded in the Hofle telegram. These Jews could not have been redirected 
back east due to the transportation difficulty. 78 The only supportable and reasonable 
explanation of their fate is death inside the camp. 

In detailing the supposed resettlement program, MGK intentionally leave a gaping 
hole in their argument by refusing to discuss the fate of Jews deported to the death camps in 
1944 (when Nazi territories were swiftly shrinking due to the advancing Soviet armies), most 
specifically the 320,000 Hungarian Jews who were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau but 
never registered and never classified as "transit Jews" (Durchgangsjuden). 79 Anti-Zionist and 
Revisionist sympathizer Peter Myers has declared these deportations to be the "fatal flaw in 
Holocaust denial," signifying its "End-Game." 80 As MGK write in Sobibor, "no Hungarian 

74 This estimate is based on approximations of 200,000 people from Distrikt Bialystok (to Auschwitz and 
Treblinka), 250,000 from Distrikt Galizien (to Auschwitz and Belzec), several thousand from 
Reichskommissariat Ostland (to Sobibor), at least 10,000 from Thrace (to Treblinka), 30,000 from 
Regierungsbezirk Ziechenau (to Auschwitz), and about 16,000 from Distrikt Krakau (to Auschwitz). 

75 Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, pp. 131-137; Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, pp. 723-743. 

76 M&G, Treblinka, p.289. 

77 See section 'The Lublin Labour/Extermination Camp Complex in 1943' in Chapter 3. 

78 Alfred Mierzejewski, Most Valuable Asset of the Reich: A History of the German National Railway, Volume 
2: 1933-1945. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000, p.l23.This fact also refutes MGK's hope 
that the Hofle figure of Majdanek arrivals in the last two weeks of 1942 (12,761) were transported to the east. 
MGK, Sobibor, p.324. 

79 Sergey Romanov, 'The Number of Hungarian Jews Gassed Upon Arrival at Auschwitz,' Holocaust 
Controversies, 2.12.09, 
in.html . 

80 Peter Myers, 'The Fatal Flaw in Holocaust Denial,' Neither Aryan Nor Jew, February 6, 2009, 
http://mailstar. net/holocaust-denial. html#Flaw . 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Jews ever reached the eastern areas, which were rapidly shrinking in size at the time." 81 In 
addition to the Hungarian Jews must be added tens of thousands of Polish Jews deported both 
to Chelmno and Auschwitz throughout 1944. With regard to Chelmno, MGK totally ignore a 
crucial document from Greiser to Pohl in February 1944 which stated that "The reduction of 
the [Lodz ghetto] population will be carried out by the Sonderkommando of SS 
Hauptsturmfuehrer Bothmann, which operated in the area previously." 82 Where would these 
Jews have been sent at such a late stage in the war? 

Two earlier studies by Graf and Mattogno (nearly a decade old) on the Hungarian 
Jews failed to arrive at any realistic conclusions (after denying homicidal gassings). 83 Instead 
of investigating the fate of these Jews further throughout the decade, they simply declared 
that as they were not sent to the east "we do not have to consider Hungary" with respect to 
their argument. 84 Such a neglectful ignorance by the proponents of 'historical-technical' 
analysis appears intellectually dishonest, plain and simple. It also contradicts a point made by 
Revisionist 'headmaster' Germar Rudolf, who demanded that people understand a subject so 
as not to use their ignorance as a "justification" for failure to act upon such knowledge. 85 
Indeed, even Revisionist Arthur Butz recognizes the tremendous problem posed by the fate of 
Hungarian Jews if they were transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau: "It is however a problem 
for Graf, and he does not solve it. For him it is not just an unresolved detail, but a 
consideration challenging the credibility of his entire thesis." 86 

MGK also fail to use any statements from German railway workers in support of 
resettlement. Walter Mannl, a chief operating officer in Kattowitz (responsible for 
Auschwitz's rail station), was told in early 1942 by the Auschwitz stationmaster that a 
concrete gas chamber was being used to kill Jews in the camp. 87 Eduard Kryschak, a 
conductor who often led trains to the Treblinka camp, recalled a Jewish maid in Bialystok 

81 MGK, Sobibor, p.352. 

82 Greiser an Pohl 14.2.44, NO-519. 

83 Graf, 'What Happened to the Jews'; Carlo Mattogno, 'Die Deportation ungarischer Juden von Mai bis Juli 
1944,' VffG Vol. 5 No. 4 (2001). Graf said in 2000 that "One of the most crucial unsolved problems is the 
question of where the unemployable Hungarian Jews were billeted," and that "under the present circumstances, 
it is of course not possible to determine the number of victims among the deported Hungarian Jews, but it was 
probably on the order of several tens of thousands." Mattogno, in a section titled 'what was the fate of unfit 
Hungarian Jews?', says "The current state of knowledge does not allow us to answer this question with certainty 
and supported by documents." 

84 MGK, Sobibor, p. 353. Kues, 'Evidence, Part I,' 2.2.3 repeats similar points, including an extension to all Jews 
deported to Auschwitz in 1944, see fn 15. 

85 Germar Rudolf, Rudolf Report: Expert Report on Chemical and Technical Aspects of the 'Gas Chambers' of 
Auschwitz, Chicago: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2003, pp. 270-271. 

86 Arthur Butz, "A Reply to Jiirgen Graf: On the 1944 Deportations of Hungarian Jews," Journal of Historical 
Review, 19/4, p. 19. 

87 If Mannl's chronology is correct (easily could be off by a year due to memory lapse), then a 1942 statement 
would refer to gassings in Crematorium I in the main camp. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

with a great fear of Treblinka, and who prophesized that one day she would be gone and no 
longer able to clean rooms; Kryschak noted that the maid's fear came true. In the Reichsbahn 
canteen at Malkinia, Hans Prause, a staffworker at the Ostbahn divisional headquarters in 
Warsaw, joined a discussion between the Malkinia stationmaster and an SS officer 
'Michaelsen'. 88 Michaelsen told Prause and the stationmaster of the "humane" Treblinka 
killings and offered both workers the chance to tour the camp, an invitation that Prause 
declined. Bialystok based conductor Richard Neuser heard from co-workers about the fate of 
the Jews after their deportation, and quickly requested from his operations master that he 
avoid such duty. Rolf Riickel, who worked in the highest Reichsbahn operations office 
(responsible for overall operations and the freight train schedules), stated after the war that 
knowledge of the killing operations among the leading Reichsbahn officials was 
widespread. 89 

While these statements are more of an indirect nature and thus do not conclusively 
prove the existence of gas chambers, their significance against MGK's belief of resettlement 
is trebled as these would constitute some of the best sources for their case. Indeed, as there 
was no coherent defense of resettlement offered by any Nazi defendants in their postwar 
trials, or any other relevant statements, it is rather absurd that MGK wish to defend 
something that the Nazis didn't even bother with even when their lives and legacy depended 
on it. 90 Indeed, if resettlement were a reality one would expect informative statements from 
numerous groups of sources, such as German witnesses, including the entire SS/Police 
hierarchy, as well as Slavic eyewitnesses from Ukraine and Belarus (at least since 1991 with 
the break-up of the Soviet Union). The reason for this should be fairly obvious, as no such 
evacuation program took place. As will be shown in the next three sections, the hopeful 
resettlement sites that MGK fantasize about were anything but in reality. 

This was SSPF Georg Michalsen, who was sentenced to 12 years by a court in Hamburg in 1974; see JuNSV 
Bd. XXXIX, Nr. 812; cf. Angrick, 'Georg Michalsen'. 

89 Mierzejewski, Most Valuable Asset of the Reich, pp. 124-126, citing Uchmann, Interrogation of Walter Mannl, 
4 Js 564/64, Siegburg, 24.4.1967, ZSL II 206 AR-Z 15/1963, vol. 4, f. 477.; Schwedersky, Interrogation of 
Eduard Kryschak, UR I 21/59, Bremen, 12.12.1960, pp. 2-3, ZSL 208 AR-Z 230/59, vol. 7, ff. 1526-27.; 
Schwedersky, Interrogation of Hans Prause, UR I 4/67 (G), Dusseldorf, 9.10.1968, pp. 1, 4, ZSL 208 AR-Z 
230/59, vol. 15, ff. 4274, 4277.; Landgericht Dusseldorf, Interrogation of Richard Neuser, UR I 21/59, Siegen, 
4.7.1961, p. 2, ZSL 208 AR-Z 230/59, f. 1835.; Anklageschrift Ganzenmuller, 8 Js 430/67, p. 291, ZSL VI 
(420) 107 AR-Z 80/61. Cf. further examples in Hilberg, Sonderziige nach Auschwitz, pp. 95, 98-105. 

90 This has not come to pass despite available opportunities, such as Eichmann's statements in an interview to 
the sympathetic Sassen. On Eichmann's interviews with Sassen, see Wojak, Eichmanns Memoiren; David 
Cesarani, Eichmann: His Life and Crimes, London, 2004. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Realities in the Occupied Soviet Territories 

MGK exhibit a stunning lack of knowledge regarding the circumstances of the occupied 
eastern territories, where nearly two million Jews were supposedly deported in 1942 and 
1943. 91 Food conditions in these areas have been highlighted in Holocaust scholarship over 
the past decade as a crucial factor in the extermination of Jews, another area which MGK 
have ignored across their work. 92 As mentioned earlier, German officials had already devised 
a 'Hungerplan' to starve the Soviet population for the practical and ideological benefit of the 
Reich, a plan modified once realities of the occupation set in. 93 Starvation and 
malnourishment existed across the areas in the winter of 1941-1942, with urban dwellers 
being provided with meagre rations (even less for Jews) and those in rural areas left to fend 
for themselves. Millions of Soviet prisoners of war were also purposefully left to starve, in 
addition to liquidations. 94 These types of policies were conducted to, as Himmler's associate 
Peter-Heinz Seraphim noted, bring about the "extermination of useless mouths." 95 Such 
circumstances would continue on throughout 1942, when MGK expect that hundreds of 
thousands of 'useless mouths' (unniitze Esser) were resettled into the same territories. 96 

While these areas were suffering from malnourishment (no small part from German 
policies), they were also the site of large population movements even without MGK's hoped 
for Jewish resettlement scheme. In the areas of Army Group Center, between 1942 and the 
spring of 1943 more than 650,000 Russian civilians were displaced and evacuated westwards 
by the army group for various purposes (combat zone, withdrawal, labor, food shortages, 
etc.). 97 This movement created havoc among the occupation bureaucracy, with the total of 
evacuees being divided amongst several regional administrations due to fears of 
overburdening the locations in terms of food, transportation, and other issues. Collection and 

91 The classic work on the occupied territories is Alexander Dallin, German Rule in Russia 1941-1945, 2 nd 
edition, London, 1981. 

92 Cf . Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde; Herbert, National Socialist Extermination Policies; Aly/Heim, Vordenker der 
Vernichtung, pp. 365-393; Gerlach, 'Bedeutung der deutschen Ernahrungspolitik'. 

93 See the section Extermination of Soviet Jews, Chapter 2; also Alex Kay, Exploitation, Resettlement, Mass 
Murder: Political and Economic Planning for German Occupation Policy in the Soviet Union, 1940-1941, 
Oxford: Berghahn, 2006. 

94 Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, pp. 774-859; Pohl, Herrschaft der Wehrmacht, pp. 201-242; Longerich, 
Holocaust, pp. 247-250; Streit, Keine Kameraden. 

95 Bericht Prof. Seraphim mit Anschreiben der Riistungsinspektion Ukraine, November 29 and December 2, 
1941, PS-2174 merged in PS-3257 (IMT, Vol. XXXII, pp. 79-83). On Seraphim in general see Hans-Christian 
Petersen, Bevolkerungsokonomie - Ostforschung - Politik. Eine biographische Studie zu Peter-Heinz Seraphim 
(1902-1979), Osnabruck: fibre Verlag, 2006. 

96 Cf. the conditions in Kiev in Karel Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule, 
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 2008, pp. 164-186; in Belorussia, Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, pp. 265-319. 

97 Wirtschaftsstab Ost, Chefgruppe Arbeit, KTB-Beitrag 4-10.12.43, NARA T77/1091/156; cf. Nicholas Terry, 
The German Army Group Centre and the Soviet Civilian Population, 1942-1944, PhD, King's College London, 
2006, p.202, p.209. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

transit sites had to be established to accommodate and transfer these evacuees, in addition to 
offering hygienic measures; these sites are documented along with witness accounts, neither 
of which can be said for MGK's resettlement hypothesis. The regions which grudgingly 
accepted several tens of thousands of refugees (i.e. Reichskommissariat Ostland, 
Generalkommissariat Wessruthenien) would obviously have faced a logistical nightmare if 
they had served as further destination for hundreds of thousands of Jews. The problems of a 
large population displacement can also be seen in the rejection of Hitler's July 1942 plan to 
evacuate the entire Crimean population of several hundred thousand into the Ukraine by 
OKW (the German military command). 98 It is interesting that in the reasons for such a 
rejection, the explanation that 'the Jews are going there' was never mentioned. 

There also was not a need for Jewish labor inside the occupied Soviet territories, if 
MGK were to agree that Jewish laborers were deported." Throughout 1942, both the Ukraine 
and Ostland were filled with Soviet prisoners of war, with totals varying from a low of 
617,000 and a high of 989,000. 10 ° Indeed even in mid-1943, 300,000 Soviet prisoners and 
partisans were requested by Gauleiter Sauckel to work in the mines of the Reich, while 
Gauleiter Koch suggested transferring the 1.5 million Hilfswilligen (Soviet helpers to the 
German military) to the Reich for labor purposes. 101 In addition to all of the above must be 
added the millions of Ostarbeiters, laborers taken from across the occupied Eastern territories 
and sent west to the Reich. 102 

Resettlement fantasies are also directly refuted by documents from the Nazis 
themselves. On July 28, 1942, shortly after start of deportations from the Warsaw ghetto to 
Treblinka, Himmler wrote to SS Main Office chief Gottlob Berger as follows: 

The occupied eastern territories will be cleared of Jews. The implementation of 
this very hard order has been placed on my shoulders by the Fiihrer. No one can 
release me from this responsibility in any case. I forbid all interference. 103 

Angrick, Besatzungspolitik und Massenmord, pp. 533-539. The 1939 Soviet census recorded some 1.1 million 
living in the Crimea, but this figure no doubt dropped by several hundred thousand after the German invasion 
and subsequent battles affecting the territory. 

99 MGK are divided on the issue, see the section 'Resettlement' for MGK in this chapter. 

100 VO/WiRiiAmt und WiStab Ost bei GenQu, Ubersicht iiber Bestand an russischen/sowjetischen 
Kriegsgefangenen, 27.5.42; Stand 1.6.42, 1.7.42, 1.8.42, 1.9.42, BA R3901/20172; BA R3901/20173, p.63. 

101 Sitzungsvermerk v. 20 August 1943 des ORR Hermann iiber eine Tagung am 13.7.43 im RmbO zum Thema: 
Arbeitseinsatzfragen des Reiches unter besonderer Beriicksichtigung der Verhaltnisse in den besetzten 
Ostgebieten, NO-1831, IMT XIII, p.1019. 

102 Ulrich Herbert, Hitler's Foreign Workers: Enforced Foreign Labor in Germany under the Third Reich. 
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. 

103 Himmler to Berger, 28.7.1942, NO-626; cf. Gerald Fleming, Hitler and the Final Solution. Berkely: 
University of California, 1987, p. 185. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

It is also notable that MGK have failed to address the Himmler-Berger letter across all of 
their works. Needless to say it, MGK's belief that hundreds of thousands of Jews were being 
resettled into the occupied eastern territories at the same time that Himmler was announcing 
his intent to clear said territories refutes their fantasy. Prior resettlement plans of Jews had 
also been abandoned prior to summer 1942, as can be seen in Wetzel's April 1942 
memorandum on Generalplan Ost where he states that the evacuation of Jews earlier planned 
"is no longer necessary due to the solution of the Jewish question." Wetzel clearly knew of 
the killings of Jews as he stated later in his memo that "one cannot solve the Polish question 
by liquidating the Poles like the Jews." 104 

The Ostland 

A recent article by Kues argues that RK Ostland contained four "transit points for at least part 
of the large numbers of Jews deported east via the "extermination camps" in Poland." 105 
These transit points were the camps Vievis, Vaivara, Salaspils and Maly Trostenets. 
However, this contradicts the assertion in Sobibor that the Jews deported to the Ostland 
arrived "w/o a stop-over in any camp." 106 In Treblinka, M&G had stated that: "It is valid to 
suggest that the direct transports to Minsk arrived first in Warsaw and ran over the Siedlce- 
Czeremcha-Wolkowusk line, so that they were travelling past Treblinka at a distance of 
approximately 80 km (Siedlce railway station) and about 140 km from Sobibor." 107 Kues and 
his colleagues are therefore fundamentally split on how the deportees arrived in the Ostland. 

MGK are unaware of the literature concerning the mass unemployment and starvation 
in Belorussian cities. The need for skilled labor was very low because German air attacks and 
the Soviets in retreat had destroyed, dismantled and relocated many factories and the 
Germans did not replace the capacity. Thus in Mogilev, starvation forced skilled non-Jews 
into the countryside, whilst Jews starved in Vitebsk. 108 It is notable that, in ignoring this 
literature, MGK also display amnesia towards the earlier generation of deniers, who had 
embraced Walter Sanning's thesis that the retreating Soviets deployed a "scorched earth" 
policy. How does "scorched earth" support resettled Jews? 

Overcrowding and food shortages were two of the reasons that Kube and Lohse 
fiercely resisted deportation into their area and only relented when it became clear (as 

104 Heiber, 'Der Generalplan Ost', pp.305, 308. 

105 Thomas Kues, 'The Maly Trostenets "Extermination Camp"-A Preliminary Historiographical Survey, Part 
2,' Inconvenient History, 3/2, summer 2011. 

106 MGK, Sobibor, p.353. 

107 M&G, Treblinka, p.245. 

108 Gerlach, 'German Economic Interests', pp. 210-39. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

discussed in Chapter 2) that deported Jews would eventually be killed. Documents written by 
Kube and Lohse are used selectively by MGK. They thus omit Lohse's statement of August 
6, 1942 that "Only a small part of the Jews are still alive; umpteen thousand have gone." 109 
On July 31, 1942, Kube protested to Lohse about the arrival of 1,000 Warsaw Jews in Minsk 
and insisted that further transports from the General Government would be liquidated. 110 This 
was at a time when many deported Reich Jews were in transit ghettos in the General 
Government. M&G perversely interpret Kube's protest as supporting resettlement but they do 
this by citing an alternative document from the same date in which the threat to liquidate the 
Jews was apparently omitted. 111 

Kues contradicts himself with regard to proving that Polish Jews were resettled in the 
Ostland. On the one hand, he admits in his initial article that it is difficult to prove that Polish 
Jews did not arrive in the Ostland by means other than deportation: 

Hersh Smolar, the Jewish partisan leader operating near Minsk whose memoirs 
are discussed below (Section 3.3.3.), was one of the Polish Jews who had fled to 
Belarus in 1939 and remained there at the time of the German invasion. It is thus 
very difficult to use references to the presence of Polish Jews in the occupied 
eastern territories as a mean to verify the revisionist hypothesis. For their 
presence to be of significance, the mentioned Jews would have to be reported as 
deported from Poland to the east from December 1941 onward, following the 
opening of the first "extermination camp" Chelmno (Kulmhof) in the Warthegau 
District. 112 

On the other hand, Kues totally disregards this logic in his subsequent articles by insisting 

that "[Griinberg's] statement that most of the Jews in the camp at the time of his arrival were 

Polish implies one or more undocumented Jewish transports from Poland." He also overlooks 

the fact that his witnesses who claim to have seen Jews arriving "straight from Poland" 113 

may simply have referred to Wilno, which was in Poland at the start of the war. Moreover, 

his reliance on such witnesses is of course hypocritical, because MGK insist elsewhere that 

enquirers "must recognize the necessity of comparing witness accounts with the available 

material evidence." 114 There is, of course, no material evidence of resettlement; otherwise 

Kues would not be reliant on these witnesses. 

109 Stenographisches Protokoll ueber Besprechung Gorings mit den Reichskommissaren und den 
Militaerbefehlshabern der besetzten Gebiete, 6.8.1942, USSR-170, IMT XXXIX, pp.384-412; Gerlach, 
'Bedeutung der deutschen Ernaehrungspolitik', pp. 216-17. 

110 Kube an Lohse, 31.7.42, 3428-PS, IMT XXXII, pp.279-82, also facsimiled in Weinreich, Hitler's Professors, 

111 M&G, Treblinka, p.278. 

112 Kues, 'Evidence, Part I,' 2.2.1. 

113 Kues, 'Evidence, Part 2,' 3.3.14. 

114 MGK, Sobibor, p. 106. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Kues uses his witnesses in a highly dishonest way. For example, his use of 
Griinberg 115 ignores his account of selections (including his wife's) and the fact that he heard 
people being shot. 116 He disregards witness anomalies (which he would normally view as 
proof of unreliability) when it suits his purposes to do so. For example, Moses L. Rage stated 
in a written testimony to a Soviet commission that in the spring of 1942 or later "there began 
to arrive in Riga a series of trains with Jews from Poland, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, 
Holland and other countries." Because no Danish Jews were deported to extermination 
camps, Kues reasons that the witness "could have mistaken Norwegian Jews for Danish 
Jews." 117 Kues never shows such latitude towards testimonies describing extermination, so 
this is a clear double standard, as is the fact that he is hereby relying on Soviet sources that he 
has dismissed elsewhere. 118 

Kues' reliance on Vaivara and Vievis ignores the fact that the Nazis shot such Jews 
when they retreated. For example, around 2,000 were killed at Klooga, where their remains 
were photographed and published in western sources soon after liberation. Foreign journalists 
were shown the unburied corpses of partially burned victims on October 2, 1944. The New 
York Times journalist W.H. Lawrence wrote that he had personally "seen and counted 
recognizable parts of 438 complete and partly burned bodies of men, women and 
children." 119 Kues himself is forced to rely on a mass grave witness account by M. Morein in 
which "while looking for the corpses of his parents in 1946 near the village of Kukas near 
Krustpils, [Morein] discovered, in a mass grave, corpses whose clothes bore French 
labels." 120 However, Kues' own secondary source reveals that these Jews were actually killed 
in 1941: 

At that time, all the Jews of Viesite, together with those of Jekabpils (Jakobstadt) 
and Nereta, were murdered by an execution squad of the Perkonkrusts in the 
village of Kukas. 121 

Kues commits another distortion when citing a diarist in Lithuania, Herman Kruk, 

specifically his sentence, "Today a rumour is circulating that there are about 19,000 Dutch 

115 Kues, 'Evidence, Part 2,' 3.3.10. 

116 Christoph Lind, Bericht von Isaak Griinberg iiber seine Haft in Maly Trostinec, "... sind wir doch in unserer 
Heimat als Landmenschen aufgewachsen..."Der "Landsprengel" der Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde St. Polten: 
Jiidische Schicksale zwischen Wienerwald und Erlauf. St. Polten: Inst, fur Geschichte der Juden in Osterreich, 

117 Kues, 'Evidence, Part 2,' 3.3.12. 

118 Kues, 'The Maly Trostenets "Extermination Camp.'" 

119 New York Times, 6.10.44, p.6. 

120 Kues, 'Evidence, Part 2,' 3.3.13. 

121 Bernhard Press, The Murder of the Jews in Latvia 1941-1945. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 
2000, p.49. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

Jews in Vievis." 122 This is an isolated line in Kruk's diary, supported only by a related entry 
about two trainloads of objects, "apparently from the Dutch Jews." 123 Given that the real fate 
of Dutch Jews has been copiously documented, it is bizarre that Kues should regard Kruk's 
obviously equivocal language - "rumour", "apparently" - as firm evidence of anything 
except the existence of that which Kruk himself defines as "gossip." 124 

Given his propensity for schoolboy errors such as these, it is incredible that Kues 
should then refer to Gerlach as an "armchair historian" 125 , when it is in fact Kues who cannot 
grasp the basics of the historian's craft. 

The earlier work of Mattogno and Graf shows a high level of ignorance concerning 
Nazi ghetto policy in the Ostland. This leads them to interpret Nazi ghetto statistics and Riga- 
Stutthof transport data in a misleading way. M&G's Einsatzgruppen chapter in Treblinka 
discusses a report by Einsatzgruppe A that lists the number of Jews remaining in three 

• Kauen approximately 15,000 Jews 

• Vilna 15,000 Jews 

• Schaulen 4,500 Jews. 126 

They commit two howlers when interpreting these figures. Firsdy, they compare the figures 
with those for Lithuania in the 1929 Soviet census, but they forget that Wilno Voivodship 
was not in Soviet Lithuania in 1929, but appeared instead in the 1931 Polish census (108,900 
Jews) and was swelled by other Polish Jewish refugees in 1939-40. 

Secondly, they compare the figures for Vilna [Wilno] with a census of the Vilna 
ghetto from May 1942 that lists 3,693 children in a population of 14,545. They conclude that 
the survival of the children disproves that there was any order to shoot the unfit. However, 
the Jager Report cites the same figures for the three ghettos and explains clearly why these 
children survived: 

I can state today that the goal of solving the Jewish problem for Lithuania has 
been achieved by Einsatzkommando 3. In Lithuania, there are no more Jews, 
other than the Work Jews, including their families. They are: 

In Schaulen around 4,500 

122 Kues, 'Evidence, Part 1,' 3.3.1. 

123 Herman Kruk, The last days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania. Chronicles from the Vilna Ghetto and the camps 
1939-1944. Yale University Press, New Haven/London, 2002, p.518. 

124 Kruk, Last Days, p.430. 

125 Kues, 'The Maly Trostenets "Extermination Camp."' 

126 M&G, Treblinka, p. 209, citing Einsatzgruppe A, Gesamtbericht vom 16 Oktober 1941 bis 31 Januar 1942, 
RGVA, 500-4-92, pp.57-59. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

In Kauen " 15,000 

In Wilna " 15,000 

I also wanted to kill these Work Jews, including their families, which however 
brought upon me acrimonious challenges from the civil administration (the 
Reichskommisar) and the army and caused the prohibition: the Work Jews and 
their families are not to be shot! 127 

Jager simply confirms what was known in the ghetto itself: in October 1941, the 
Nazis issued yellow permits (Gelbschein) that entitled 3,000 essential workers to select three 
family members who would be temporarily spared from killing actions. 128 Moreover, Jager 
advocated that the males among these worker Jews should be sterilized, thereby continuing 
the sterilization discourse that had begun with Wetzel back in 1939. 

In the same chapter M&G point out that, in Minsk, "In a list from 1943 (month not 
given) of 878 Jews from the ghetto of Minsk, there are.. .about a dozen elderly persons." 129 
However, this simply confirms that old people were disproportionately targeted for 
liquidation, because 12/878 is not a ratio that would exist in a normal civilian population. 

M&G's subsequent incredulity about the inclusion of children and the elderly in 
evacuation transports from Riga to Stutthof can therefore be dismissed as the result of 
ignorance. Furthermore, the inclusion of those children actually argues in favour of a Nazi 
policy of total evacuation that refutes MGK's assumption in Sobibor that the Nazis failed to 
almost totally evacuate the Ostland when they retreated. The Nazis did not leave behind 
hundreds of thousands of Jews for the Soviets to find. 

M&G's treatment of Riga, Minsk and Wilno can be contrasted with sources 
concerning those cities that have mostly been in the public domain since the Nuremberg and 
Eichmann trials. In April 1943, the Foreign Office representative in Riga, Adolf von 
Windecker, pointed out to his colleagues in Berlin that, in the Ostland, "the local population, 
as is known, has in spontaneous actions in connection with the arrival of the German troops 
removed numerous Jews, amounting to an almost total extermination of Jewry in some 
places", and that many thousands of local and Reich Jews had been shot in the Riga region 
over time [viele tausend der hiesigen und reichsdeutschen Juden im Bereich von Riga im 

127 Gesamtaufstellung der im Bereich des EK. 3 bis zum 1. Dez. 1941 durchgefiihrten Execution. RGVA 500-1- 

128 Kruk, Last Days, p. 150. Mattogno also ignores evidence that Wehrmacht officers used the tactic of 'salvation 
through work in Wilno; see Kim C. Priemel, 'Wirtschaftskrieg und 'Arbeitsjuden'. Moglichkeiten zur Rettung 
von Juden in Vilnius, 1941-1944' in Wolfram Wette (ed), Zivilcourage. Emporte, Heifer und Retter aus 
Wehrmacht, Polizei und SS. Frankfurt am Main, 2003, pp. 305-322 and 'Into the grey zone: Wehrmacht 
bystanders, German labor market policy and the Holocaust', JGR 10/3 2008, pp. 389-411. 

129 M&G, Treblinka, pp.214-15. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

Verlauf der Zeit erschossen worden sind]. He concluded that "it seems very questionable 
whether any Jews can be considered for exchange purposes, without the executions carried 
out here being thereby used against us." 130 This echoed a reply given by Giinther the previous 
November to a request, forwarded to him from the Italian General Consul Giuriatti in Danzig, 
that the 'Jewess' of Italian citizenship, Jenni Cozzi, be returned from the Riga ghetto to Italy. 
Giinther asserted that she had to remain in the ghetto "because it must certainly be feared that 
the Jewess Cozzi will exploit the conditions in the Riga ghetto for purposes of atrocity 
propaganda in Italy." 131 

In January 1943, a former colleague, on leave from Wilno, told Karl Diirkefalden 
about the almost total extermination of the city's Jewish community: only 10% of the 
population was left. 132 German documentation shows that Jews from the Wilno region were 
subjected to a "special treatment" that claimed over 4,000 victims in early April, 1943. 133 On 
May 15, 1943, Rademacher's successor von Thadden noted: 

Mr. Legation Counsellor Rademacher informed me that on occasion of a visit by 
Fascist representatives in Minsk Gauleiter Kube had also shown a church that had 
been used by the Communists for worldly purposes. Asked by the Italians what 
the little parcels and suitcases piled up there meant, Kube had explained that these 
were the only leftovers of Jews deported to Minsk. Thereafter Kube had shown 
the Italians a gas chamber in which the killing of the Jews was allegedly carried 
out. Supposedly, the Fascists had been most deeply shocked. 

Mr. Rademacher learned of this incident through Mr. Koeppen, adjutant of 
Reichsleiter Rosenberg. In his opinion General Consul Windecker in Riga is 
likely to also be informed about this incident, for as far as he, Rademacher, could 
remember, the incident had occurred on occasion of the Fascist representatives 
sent east to take care of Italian workers. 134 

The gas chamber in this highly reliable official wartime hearsay account, concerning senior 

German officials discussing recent events, was contained in the gas van that was mentioned 

by the documents and Becker's testimony discussed in Chapter 2. The source is too high up 

the political chain to be construed as rumour, and every link in this chain had nothing to gain 

by inventing the method of murder. 

By June 1943, most Jews in the Ostland were dead but the Nazis were still ruthlessly 

hunting down non-Jewish partisans. Their methods led to a complaint from Lohse to 

130 Windecker an Auswartigen Amt Berlin, 5.4.43, NG-2652; T/311. 

131 Giinther an Auswartigen Amt Berlin, 10.11.42, T/348. 

132 Karl Diirkefalden, Schreiben, wie es wirklich war...: Aufzeichnungen Karl Durkefaldens aus den Jahren 
1933-1945, edited by Herbert Obenaus and Sibylle Obenaus, Hannover, 1985, pp.l07ff. 

133 Arad, Ghetto in Flames, p. 365, citing E. Rozauskas et al (ed), Documents Accuse, Vilnius, 1970, pp. 271- 

134 Auswartigen Amt Berlin, 15.5.43, T/341. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Rosenberg that compared the methods used against bandits with those that had been used in 
the 'special treatment' of Jews: 

The fact that Jews receive special treatment requires no further discussion. 
However, it appears hardly believable that this is done in the way described in the 
report of the General Commissioner of 1 June 1943. What is Katyn against that? 
Imagine only that these occurrences would become known to the other side and 
be exploited by them! Most likely such propaganda would have no effect only 
because people who hear and read about it simply would not be ready to believe 

Also the fight against the bandits it taking forms that give reason for much 
concern if pacification and exploitation of the various regions is the goal of our 
policy. Thus the dead banditry suspects, which according to the report dd. 5.6.43 
from Operation "Cottbus" number 5,000, could in my opinion with few 
exceptions have been used for labour service in the Reich. 

It shall not be denied that due to communication difficulties and generally in such 
mopping-up operations it is very hard to tell friend from foe. But it should 
nevertheless be possible to avoid cruelties and to bury those liquidated. To lock 
men, women, and children into barns and to set fire to them does not appear to be 
a suitable method of combating bands, even if it is desired to exterminate the 
population. This method is not worthy of the German cause and hurts our 
reputation severely. 135 

Lohse also passed to Rosenberg a report by prison warden Giinther on the killing of a few 

remaining Reich Jews in the Minsk prison and the removal of gold from their teeth after 

death. 136 

The demographic consequences of Nazi killing actions are documented in population 

statistics produced by the German administration. In January 1942, Stahlecker reported that 

"The systematic mopping up of the Eastern Territories embraced, in accordance with the 

basic orders, the complete removal if possible, of Jewry" and that "This goal has been 

substantially attained-with the exception of White Russia-as a result of the execution up to 

the present time of 229,052 Jews" 137 An Operational Situation Report of the same month 

revealed that 139,000 Jews remained alive in GK WeiEruthenien: 

In White Ruthenia the purge of Jews is in full swing. The number of Jews in the 
Territory handed over to the civil authorities up to now, amounts to 139,000. 
32,210 Jews were shot meanwhile by the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police 
and the SD. 138 



Lohse an Rosenberg, 18.6.43, R-135, IMT VIII, p.205. 
Giinther an Kube, 31.5.43, R-135, IMT VIII, p.208. 
Stahlecker, Report of Einsatzgruppe A, n.d., 2273-PS. 

138 EM 155, 14.1.42, NO-3279. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

On August 26, 1942, Fenz estimated that 95,000 Jews had thus far been "shot under martial 
law" whilst 6,000 had escaped to the partisans. 139 

KdS Strauch reported a working population of 27,660 Jews remaining in White 
Ruthenia on November 6, 1942. Kube informed Lohse on October 23, 1942 that "In the 
course of the first year of civil administration, Jewry in the general district [White Ruthenia] 
has been reduced to about 30,000 in the entire general district." 140 In a meeting of 
Gebeitskommissars on April 8-10, 1943, Strauch explained the problems he had encountered 
in attempting to complete the extermination of the GK's Jews, but nonetheless confirmed that 
130,000 had been killed: 

When the civil administration arrived it already found economic enterprises 
operated by the Wehrmacht aided by Jews. At a time when the Bielorussians 
wanted to murder the Jews, the Wehrmacht cultivated them. In that way Jews 
reached key positions and it is difficult today to remove them completely, for then 
the enterprises are liable to be destroyed, something we cannot allow ourselves. I 
am of the opinion that we can confidently say that of the 150,000, 130,000 have 
already disappeared. 22,000 are still alive in the area of the 
Gebietskommissariat. 141 

He suggested that the surviving 22,000 could be reduced by 50%: 

I therefore want to request of you that, at least, the Jew disappear from any place 
where he is superfluous. We cannot agree to Jewish women polishing shoes. ..We 
will cut the number down to half without causing economic difficulties. 

In the same month, the Head of the German Security Police and Security Service in Lithuania 

informed the RSHA that 44,584 Jews were left in the Lithuanian General District of the 

Ostland - including 23,950 in the Vilnius ghetto, 15,875 in the Kaunas/Kovno ghetto and 

4,759 in the Siauliai ghetto - of which about 30,000 Jews doing jobs needed by the German 

army 142 . The surviving population of Latvia as of January 1943 was given as between 13,584 

and 14, 784. 143 Estonia had been declared "free of Jews" on January 14, 1942. 144 

An Ostministerium conference report of July 13, 1943 stated that the Jewish 

population of White Ruthenia was 16,000, consisting of 8,500 for Minsk and 7,500 for 

139 Hauptkommissariat Baranowitschi to GK Weifiruthenien, Arbeitspolitische Fragen, 26.8.42, NG-1315; cf. 
Haberer, 'The German police, Part II,' p.271n.; Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, p. 706. 

140 Strauch an BdS Ostland, 6.11.1942, LVCA 1026-1-3, p.331; Angrick/Klein, Riga, p.376. 

141 Protokoll iiber die Tagung der Gebietskommissare, Hauptabteilungsleiter und Abteilungsleiter des. 
Generalkommissars in Minsk vom 8. April bis lOApril 1943, NARB 370-1-1263, pp. 126-45; cf. Shalom 
Cholawsky, The Jews of Bielorussia during World War II, Amsterdam, 1998, p. 64; Haberer, 'German Police', 
Part I, p. 13. 

142 Arunas Bubnys, 'The Holocaust in Lithuania: An Outline of the Major Stages and their Results', in: Alvydas 
Nikzentaitis, Stefan Schreiner & Dariusurfilfflli(ed.), The Vanished World of Lithuanian Jews, 
Amsterdam/New York: Editions Rodopi B.V., 2004, p. 216. 

143 Angrick/Klein, Riga, p. 369. 

144 EM 155, 14.1.42, NO-3279; cf. Weiss-Wendt, Murder Without Hatred. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Lida. 145 The total for the whole of the Ostland was 72,000 (Wilno 20,000, Kovno 17,000, 
Siauliai 5,000, and Riga 15,000). Of this 72,000, the conference stated that 22,000 were to be 
'resettled' and 50,000 placed in SS concentration camps, as per Himmler's order of June 21, 
1943. 146 Kube requested an exemption for 4,000 Jews employed by the Wehrmacht in Minsk, 
but Himmler ordered that these Jews be sent "to Lublin or to another place." 147 On July 20, 
1943, Strauch wrote a file note on Kube's protest about the execution (which he referred to in 
different paragraphs as Sonderbehandlung and Executionen) of 70 Jews being used for labour 
by Kube. 148 

There was clearly no option to keep these Jews in the Ostland, so it must be 
concluded that Himmler's intention was to totally clear White Ruthenia of Jews by sending 
them westwards to the General Government. This documentation therefore converges with 
the evidence that, of the 15,500 Jews remaining in Minsk and Lida, the vast majority were 
deported to the Lublin region between August and October, 1943. Gerlach cites a testimony 
by Isselhorst giving a figure of 12,000-13,000 deported from "Minsk and Baranovichi". 
Kues 149 overlooks Gerlach' s footnote clarifying that Isselhorst probably meant Lida, not 
Baranovichi. 150 Isselhorst's testimony therefore converges with the demographic data that 
Kues is attempting to deny. 


MGK also see the Ukraine as a destination for 'resettled' European Jews during the war. As 
discussed earlier, local Jews in this area were subject to heavy exterminations during 1942, 
the same year when Jews would have supposedly been deported into this area. 151 The 
Wehrmacht's arms inspector Ukraine estimated at the end of 1941 that 150,000-200,000 
Ukrainian Jews under the German civil administration had already been killed. 152 Massacres 
of such scale continued into the next year. For instance, although MGK cite a September 
1942 wartime news report (the general unreliability of such a source has been discussed) in 

145 Sitzungsvermerk v. 20 August 1943 des ORR Hermann iiber eine Tagung am 13.7.43 im RMbO zum Thema: 
Arbeitseinsatzfragen des Reiches unter besonderer Beriicksichtigung der Verhaltnisse in den besetzten 
Ostgebieten, NO-1831, NMT XIII, pp. 1018-19; cf. Safrian, Eichmann's Men, p. 124; Yitzhak Arad, Ghetto In 
Flames, Ktav, 1982, p.402. 

146 Der Reichsfuhrer SS an HSSPF Ostland, SS-WVHA, 21.6.1943, NO-2403. 

147 Memorandum by Gottlob Berger, 14.7.43, NO-3370; cf. Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, p.737ff. 

148 Strauch, Aktenvermerk, Minsk, 20.7.43, NO-4317 and T/1413; also published in Helmut Heiber (ed), 'Aus 
den Akten des Gauleiters Kube', VfZ 4, 1956, pp.65-92. 

149 Kues, 'The Maly Trostenets "Extermination Camp"'. 

150 Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, p.742 n.1285. 

151 See the sections The Europe-Wide Final Solution as well as Killing of Soviet Jews, Chapter 2. 

152 Bericht Prof. Seraphim mit Anschreiben der Riistungsinspektion Ukraine, 29.11.41 and 2.12.41, 2178-PS; cf. 
Pohl, 'The Murder of Ukraine's Jews,' p.44. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

Judisk Kronika regarding German Jews being shipped to Ukraine to work on the fall harvest, 
they ignore the recorded execution of hundreds of thousands of Jews in Ukraine during the 
same period. 153 Indeed, Mattogno's claims to the contrary aside, in the wake of the Nazi 
withdrawal from their occupied territories Soviet officials found mass graves containing 
thousands of corpses in Ukraine. 154 

In late 1941/early 1942, the Ukraine was indeed planned to be a destination for the 
deportation of German Jews. A circular was sent out by HSSPF Ukraine in early January 
1942 to regions in the territory, asking the localities to prepare for the establishment of 
ghettos and barracks to accommodate Jews from the Altreich and report back on their 
circumstances. 155 The circular occurred prior to the crystallization of policy after the 
Wannsee conference, upon which such wide-ranging deportation schemes fell through. 156 As 
Kues recognizes, despite dozens of recorded transports of Altreich Jews to the Ostland, "none 
of the documented transports were sent to the Ukraine." 157 Indeed, the only documentation 
connected to Jewish resettlement and the Ukraine is the delivery of stolen Jewish clothes to 
ethnic Germans in the territory, clothes which were stolen at Auschwitz and the Reinhard 
camps. 158 

Despite a lack of documented transports, MGK try to create deportations to this 
region based on other (weaker) forms of evidence. For instance, they use a May 1942 letter to 
the governor of the Lublin district from the county chief at Pulawy, in which he states that 
16,822 Jews from his county had been "expelled across the Bug river," as proof of their 
resettlement into Ukraine. 159 Although they never specify, we presume that MGK mean GK 
Wolhynien-Podolien, which included the cities of Pinsk and Kovel (which they use for other 
supposed resettlement destinations as well). 160 This GK was the site of heavy slaughters in 
late summer, with nearly three hundred thousand being slaughtered from August-November 

153 Report of HSSPF, 26.12.1942; Der Reichsfiihrer-SS, Meldungen an den Fiihrer iiber Bandenbekampfung, 
Meldung Nr. 51 Russland-Siid, Ukraine, Bialystok. Bandenbekampfungserfolge vom 1.9 bis 1.12.42, 
23.12.1942, NO-511, also translated in NMT, Vol. XIII, p. 269-272, also T/338. 

154 M&G, Treblinka, p. 223; Roberto Muehlenkamp, 'The Atrocities committed by German-Fascists in the USSR 
(1),' Holocaust Controversies blog, 30.4.11, 
committed-b v-german-f as cists . html ; Roberto Muehlenkamp, 'The Atrocities committed by German-Fascists in 
the USSR (2)', Holocaust Controversies, 3.5.11, 
committed-b v-german-f as cists . html ; Roberto Muehlenkamp, 'Drobitski Yar,' Holocaust Controversies, 28.6.10, ; Roberto Muehlenkamp, "June 22, 1941" 
Holocaust Controversies blog, 22.6.2011, 
1941.html . 

155 RKU, Der HSSPF, Einrichtung von Ghettos, 12.1.43, DAZhO P1151-1-137. 

156 See The Europe-Wide Final Solution, Chapter 2. 

157 Kues, 'Evidence,' 2.1. 

158 Report by Pohl to RFSS, 6.2.43, NO-1257. NMT Vol. 5, pp. 699-704. 

159 MGK, Sobibor, p.302. 

160 Cf. MGK, Sobibor, p.362. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

1942. 161 Extermination in Ukraine was thus largely complete by early 1943, when the 
Ukrainian Main Committee complained to Frank that "The view is current that now the 
shootings of the Jews come to an end those of the Ukrainians begin." 162 

One specific region to which Kues claims European Jews were deported was GK 
Nikolayev. Kues cites a hearsay report published in the June 1943 issue of the Contemporary 
Jewish Record suggesting 14,000 Jews from Belgium and Holland had been deported to 
Kherson in April of that year. 163 This is an odd location for Jews to be sent, as a year before 
the county commissar had happily reported that "there are no longer any Jews or half-Jews in 
GK Nikolayev." 164 To achieve such a cleansing of the region, the Jews were murdered. For 
instance, in early February 1942 some two hundred Jews of the Zlatopol ghetto were killed 
"by gassing with Lorpicrin" on the orders of the county commissar. 165 MGK also fail to 
corroborate the hearsay report with either eyewitnesses or documents. 

One could also rule out other possible 'resettlement' territories inside Ukraine, further 
decreasing the available territory in which to resettle hundreds of thousands of Jews. The 
General Commissariat of Zhitomir, located to the west of Kiev, was the target of several 
liquidations during 1942. As construction was underway for Hitler's field headquarters (often 
called the Wolf's Lair), nearby Jews not actively working on the project were regarded as 
security threats and killed. A member of the Reich Security Service, Hitler's personal 
security staff, reported that "the Jews living in Vinnitsa were knocked off on April 16, up to 
4,800 (in all)." 166 The murders in the commissariat continued throughout the spring, with 
several actions launched simultaneously in the Gaissin district and other operations occurring 
in Monastyrska. 167 

Perhaps as their strongest evidence (and most popular by their numerous repetitions 
and quotations), MGK utilize an April 1944 report from the French communist newspaper 
Notre Voz'x. 168 The report states, citing Radio Moscow's declarations, that 8,000 Parisian 

161 Report of HSSPF, 26.12.1942; Der Reichsfiihrer-SS, Meldungen an den Fiihrer iiber Bandenbekampfung, 
Meldung Nr. 51 Russland-Siid, Ukraine, Bialystok. Bandenbekampfungserfolge vom 1.9 bis 1.12.42, 
23.12.1942, NO-511, also translated in NMT, Vol. XIII, p. 269-272, also T/338. Many more documents related 
to the exterminations in GK Wolhynien-Podolien can be found in Jonathan Harrison, Volhynia-Podolia series . 

162 Kubijowytsch an Frank, 25.2.43, 1526-PS, NCA IV, pp.79-95. 

163 Kues, 'Evidence, Part II,' 3.7.5. 

164 GK Nikolajew, Lagebericht fur April 1942, CDJC CXLIV-474. 

165 Fragment of a situation report from BdO Ukraine (gez. Muller-Brunkhorst), ca. March 1942 (title page 
missing); TsADAVOV, R-3676-4-317, p. 71; cf. Pohl, 'The Murder of Ukraine's Jews,' p.48. 

166 Reichssicherheitsdienst, Sicherungsgruppe Eichenhain an Rattenhuber, 12.1. 1942; 16.5.1942 (citation), 
TsDAVOV 3637-4-116, pp.28ff. 


Longerich, Holocaust, p. 349, Spector, Holocaust of the Volhynien Jewry, p. 184. 
M&G, Treblinka, pp. 257-258; MGK, Sobibor, p. 365; Kues, 'Evidence,' 3.1.5. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

Jews had been liberated in the Ukraine by the "heroic Red Army." 169 No testimonies or 
documents regarding these alleged thousands of French Jews have appeared since their 
"liberation." MGK do not see the report's propaganda aim, clearly portraying the Red Army 
as saviours of the Jewish people, thus welcomed news by Jewish and communist 
sympathizers in France. Particularly, they ignore the perpetual Soviet efforts to 
internationalize the Nazi victims. As Pierre Vidal-Naquet appropriately remarked regarding 
one denier' s use of a similar source, "those who speak at every turn of war propaganda 
should have been able to perceive that we have in this case a rather typical example." 170 
MGK also ignore the paper's emphasis on the Jews' escape from "the SS bandits (whom) 
wanted to shoot them." 

The Ukraine was hardly a realistic prospective site for the resettlement of hundreds of 
thousands western European Jews. Already in January 1942, RK Ukraine reported the food 
situation as so poor as to have "led to a decrease in dog ownership" among the people. 171 
Such a situation would persist, despite complaints from the civilian administration. 172 The 
same area was later charged to meet extraordinary food production demands for the Reich at 
the expense of the local population. Reich Commissioner for Ukraine Erich Koch told his 
staff in late August 1942 that "the feeding of the civilian population in this situation (securing 
food quantities from the Ukraine) is therefore completely immaterial." 173 In July 1943, when 
MGK would have hundreds of thousands of Jews 'resettled' into the East, State Secretary 
Herbert Backe reported "the amount of (food) supply to be furnished by the Occupied Eastern 
Territories will still have to be considerably increased." 174 The population who the Nazis 
cared least about (i.e. Jews) would obviously have fared the worst amongst all Ukrainian 

Nor is there evidence to suggest that Jews served as a substantial part of the industrial 
labor force in throughout 1942 and 1943, despite the important projects that were going on in 

169 The newspaper article was first brought to light by Annette Wieviorka, Deportation et genocide. Entre la 
memoire et I'oubli. Paris, 1992, p. 55, and was seemingly first treated as a Crucial Source by Jean-Marie 

170 Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Assassins of Memory, New York: Columbia University Press, p. 36. 

171 RK Ukraine He, Lagebericht, 14.1.42, TsDAVOV 3206-2-27. 

172 RK Ukraine III b, Die Lage der Landwirtschaft in der Ukraine unter Beriicksichtigung der soeben neu 
aufgetretenen Schwierigkeiten, 10.4.42, NA T77/1171/1048. 

173 IMT Vol. XXV, p.318. 

174 Sitzungsvermerk v. 20 August 1943 des ORR Hermann iiber eine Tagung am 13.7.43 im RmbO zum Thema: 
Arbeitseinsatzfragen des Reiches unter besonderer Beriicksichtigung der Verhaltnisse in den besetzten 
Ostgebieten, NO-1831, IMT XIII, p.1018-19. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

the Ukraine. 175 For instance, no Jews are mentioned as taking a role in the Twan-Programm' 
for building ammunition factories in the Donets Basin. 176 

Indeed, as mentioned earlier, this was the period when hundreds of thousands of 
Ukrainian Jews were being slaughtered. Counties were pushing to eradicate the Jews in their 
localities. As one General Commissariat reported at the end of 1942, "Jewry. The cleansing 
of the territory is in its final stages." 177 By April 1943 Jews had disappeared entirely from the 
monthly reports of both GK Wolhynien and RK Ukraine. 178 On June 8, 1943, Hitler was able 
to remark to Keitel and Zeitzler, quoting Erich Koch, that in Ukraine "the Jews are all 
gone." 179 Such evidence rules out the resettlement of Jews into Ukraine. 

The Alleged Fate of the 'Resettled' Jews 

If the Nazis really had resettled some two million Jews into the occupied Soviet territories, 
the question then remains over the ultimate fate of the deportees. Instead of evacuating the 
surviving Jews back into German occupied Europe, as the Germans did in many other cases 
(including more than 20,000 from Kaunas and Riga 180 , two sites claimed to be primary 
resettlement destinations by Revisionists), according to MGK the Nazis left the Jews to be 
liberated by the advancing Red Army. Such a liberation would necessarily leave traces in the 
form of numerous mentions in the Soviet news stories, internal Soviet documents (such as 
Red Army reports and NKGB reports), and memoirs and interviews by the former Soviet 
servicemen and locals. Given the numbers of people involved and the scale of the events, 
even if one wanted to suppress such information for some incomprehensible reason, it 
wouldn't have been possible even during Stalin's reign (rumor always finds a way to spread), 
much less in subsequent years, and especially not after the fall of the USSR and opening of 
the archives in Russia and other former Soviet republics (most of which use these archives 
effectively to expose Soviet crimes, including deportations). The Soviet censorship system 
was powerful, but to hide the liberation of hundreds of thousand of Jews it would have to 
have been omnipotent. Lacking any corroboration for their story of Soviet liberation of the 

175 Cf. Tanja Penter, 'Arbeiten fur den Feind in der Heimat - der Arbeitseinsatz in der besetzten Ukraine 1941- 
1944', Jahbruch fur Wirtschaftsgeschichte 2004/1, pp.65-94. 

176 Reichsminister fur Bewaffnung und Munition, Der Beauftragte fur die Munitionsfertigung in der Ukraine 
Edmund Geilenberg, Vorhaben Iwan, Niederschrift iiber die Iwan-Besprechung am Freitag, d 18. Dezember 
1942, 21.12.42, BA R3901/20271, pp.65-7. 

177 Pohl, 'The Murder of Ukraine's Jews,' p. 51, citing CDJC CXLVIIa-29, Lagebericht GK Wolhynien- 
Podolien, 31.12.42. 

178 GK Wolhynien-Podolien, Lagebericht fur Monat April 1943, 30.4.1943; RK, Lageberichte fur die Monate 
Maerz und April 1943, 14.5.1943, NARA T454/26/1-36, 37-59. 


Helmut Heiber (ed.), Lagebesprechungen im Fuhrerhauptquartier, 1942-1945, Munich: Deutscher 

Taschenbuch Verlag, 1963, pp.115-118; also 1384-PS. 


Graf, 'What Happened to the Jews'; cf. Aly/Heim, Vordenker der Vernichtung, p. 285. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

resettled Jews, one could easily reject MGK's thesis as without foundation on that basis 
alone. As will be seen, however, their hypothesis fails on every evidentiary aspect. 

To explain the disappearance and silence of the two million 'resettled' Jews, MGK 
speciously claim that the majority of Polish and Western European Jews had been captured 
and transported to the eastern areas of the country, secluded from the outside world, where 
MGK "assume that they disappeared in camps they would never leave." 181 While the postwar 
deportations in the Soviet Union had for decades been marred in obscurity (an obscurity 
MGK manipulate to their advantage), the fall of the Soviet state has opened the relevant files 
to researchers over the last two decades which help present a picture of what truly happened 
during the time period. These newly available documents certainly refute MGK's conjecture 
to explain the disappearance of Jews, for instead of an anti- Jewish deportation scheme the 
efforts were largely related to a renewed dekulakization program and other Sovietization 
efforts. While a few researchers believed in a planned anti- Jewish deportation program in the 
postwar years, a detailed analysis of the evidence finds that such a plan was more mythical 
than actual, with no reliable or conclusive evidence to support the existence of such plans. 182 
Such a theory also contradicts other statements in Sobibor where Polish Jews who were 
'resettled' by the Nazis were able to return to Poland from the Soviet Union. 183 

To support their belief in massive Soviet deportations of Jews to Siberia in the late 
1940s Graf quotes the 1950 American Jewish Yearbook, seemingly as an ultimate proof of 
their occurrence, as he does not source any other evidence. 184 The Yearbook merely relayed 
information on the deportations as reported by some Jewish organizations in Eastern Europe. 
The American Jewish League against Communism (AJLAC) for instance, as quoted by Graf 
in the Yearbook, estimated the number of Jewish deportees at 400,000. However, Graf leaves 
out crucial but (for him) inconvenient pieces of information in his quote of the Yearbook. 
First, the Yearbook reported that the American Committee of Jewish Writers, Artists, and 
Scientists described the AJLAC 's estimate on the deportations as "fantastic" and "without 
foundation." Also, Graf doesn't disclose the fact that the Yearbook itself declared that, "At 

181 MGK, Sobibor, p.373. 

182 G. V. Kostyrchenko, Tajnaya politika Stalina:vlast' i antisemitizm, Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 
2003, pp. 671-685; "Deportatsiya - mistifikatsiya" in Lekhaim, 2002, no. 9 (125), ; also see his review of Brent and Naumov's book about the 
Doctors' plot - "Mezhdu mifom in naukoj", Lekhaim, 2004, no. 10 (50), . 

183 MGK, Sobibor, p. 355: "Thus it is most likely that the returnees were part of the Jews who had been moved to 
the eastern areas by the Germans three or four years earlier." More accurate information on the repatriations can 
be found in Jonathan Harrison, 'The Crazy World of Walter Sanning (Part 6),' Holocaust Controversies, 
7.10.07, . 

184 MGK, Sobibor, p.356. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

the time of writing it was impossible to ascertain with any degree of certitude to what extent 
the reports (of Soviet deportations of Jews) were true." 185 Such a statement, of course, 
severely undermines MGK's reliance upon the publication as proof of such deportations. 

One of the foremost researchers of Stalin's era antisemitism Gennady Kostyrchenko 
writes about these deportation rumours: 

The scale of rumours about impending mass deportation of Jews by the 
authorities increased significantly during the anti-cosmopolitan campaign to such 
an extent that that foreign press began mentioning this. On the pages of Jewish 
publications (especially in Israel, USA and UK) during the 1949-1952 period 
there were numerous reports about either an alleged decision taken by the Soviet 
authorities to deport the entire Jewish population of the country to Siberia, or 
about the completed resettlement of 400 thousand Jews from Russia to Siberia, or 
of the prepared deportation in the same direction of another 1 million Jews from 
the Ukraine and Belorussia. The appearance of such information in the Western 
press was largely due to the latent propaganda pressure, which since the end of 
1949 the Israeli leaders began exerting towards the USSR, seeking thereby to 
induce Stalin to meet their requirements to allow the mass emigration of Jews 
from the USSR. Particularly insistent in this case was the Israeli Foreign Minister 
M. Sharett. On October 5 he was informed by the ambassador to the USSR Namir 
that Soviet Jews "live in fear and lack confidence in tomorrow" and "many" of 
them "fear deportation from Moscow is about to begin". Ten days later Sharett 
replied with a coded telegram sent to Moscow, which contained the following 

"We should start a campaign in the international Jewish press, especially in the 
U.S., as well as in non-Jewish press on the issue of the Soviet Jewry, allowing the 
leaks to the press of all the correct information at our disposal, as well as 

And although later the same Namir, as well as a director of East European 
Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel A. Levavi repeatedly 
informed Sharett of the unfounded nature of the rumours about the preparation of 
the deportation of Soviet Jews, publications about it in the Western press did not 
stop. 186 

While deportations did occur in the Soviet Union during the late 1940s, they are 

nothing like MGK make them out to be. Instead of an effort to hide Polish and western 

European Jews that were 'resettled' into the occupied Soviet territories 187 , the deportations 

were organized against perceived opponents of the state, with the deportees being sent to 

special settlements in the eastern Soviet Union. One of the regions most targeted during these 

deportations was the Baltic, perhaps the most popular destination for the Nazi 'resettlement' 

of Jews (as described by MGK). According to Soviet documents however, some 139,604 

185 American Jewish Yearbook, 51, 1950, p. 340. 

186 Kostyrchenko, Tajnaya politika Stalina, pp. 673-674. 

187 MGK, Sobibor, pp.356-357, p.373. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

persons were relocated from the Baltic countries throughout the late 1940s. 188 This figure is 
obviously dwarfed by the alleged hundreds of thousands of Jewish resettlers sent to this 
region according to Kues. 189 Nor do Soviet documents relate any focus or emphasis regarding 
Jewish persons to be removed during the deportations, as they instead targeted nationalist and 
anti-communist elements. One must conclude, therefore, that no Jews 'resettled' by the Nazis 
in the Baltic countries were deported by the Soviet Union. 

A similar conclusion can also be drawn regarding Belorussia and the Ukraine, two 
other suggested destination of Nazi resettlement. Most of the Soviet deportations from 
western Ukraine occurred prior to 1948, with those operations launched between 1944 and 
1946 largely focused against anti-communist guerrillas (nearly 37,000 such persons). In 
1947, while targeting "nationalist and bandit families" in Ukraine, the Soviets deported 
nearly 78,000 people. 190 Up until 1955, a decade after the end of the Second World War, a 
total of 203,662 persons (kulaks and "bandit accomplices") had been deported from the 
Ukraine 191 , a fact which clearly does not square with MGK's thesis that hundreds of 
thousands of resettled Jews were deported to Siberia from Ukraine. While Belorussia 
produced the largest number of "voluntary" resettlers in 1946 to occupy newly acquired 
Kaliningrad, there does not appear to have been any substantial amount of deportation of 
peoples from the country in the immediate postwar years. 192 

The largest hole in MGK's thesis is the absolute lack of evidence to support the 
existence of such concentration camps for the 'resettled' Jews. They are unable to cite a 
single witness or document to support their speculation. While MGK might object that none 
of the two million 'resettled' Jews were able to present such an account, this does not save 
MGK's fantastic scenario. The continued presence of Jews in camps would generate even 
more information than their supposed initial liberation. It is sometimes said that absence of 
evidence is not evidence of absence. But this rule is only applicable when we can't expect 
presence of evidence. This is clearly not the case here. We would expect literal tons of 
documents about these Jews in numerous archives spread throughout the Soviet republics - 
the documents which were impossible to eliminate or hide completely, as numerous other 
cases (like Katyn) demonstrate. The number of various agencies and people that would be 

N.F. Bugai, The Deportation of Peoples in the Soviet Union. New York: Nova Science, 1996, p. 166. 

189 Kues, 'Evidence', Part II, see sections 'Partial List of Camps with Jewish detainees in Lithuania' and 3.4. 

190 Alexander Statiev, The Soviet Counterinsurgency in the Western Borderlands, New York: Cambridge 
University Press, 2010, p. 178. 

191 Ibid., p.190. 

192 Pavel Polian, Against Their Will: The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR. New York: 
Centraul European University Press, 2004, p. 163. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

involved at one time or another is mind-boggling. Aside from official documents, we would 
expect at least some mentions of the issue in memoirs and interviews of former Soviet 
officials - Politburo members, security officers, railway workers, guards - all the thousands 
of people that would have been involved in such an utterly impossible cover-up as well as 
their relatives and friends. 

We would also expect an enormous rumor trail. We know from the camp memoirs 
such as Solzhenitsyn's The GULAG Archipelago that information (even information that 
ordinary citizens and prisoners were not supposed to know) spread far and wide. Like a stone 
thrown into water causes circles to spread, so such a massive event as a deportation and 
continuous confinement of foreign Jews would cause ripples of rumours that would sooner or 
later reach dissidents and Samizdat. 

Finally, the supposed imprisonment of Jews doesn't even begin to solve MGK's 
problem. Stalin died in 1953, leading to the Thaw and to the partial exposure of Stalin's 
crimes, as well as to liberation of numerous GULAG inmates and deported groups. At this 
point in time it is utterly ridiculous to suggest that Khrushchev wouldn't let the Jews out of 
this imaginary imprisonment and wouldn't use this information to further condemn Stalin. 
Yet we see not even a trace of discussion of this issue in numerous volumes of declassified 
documents on the rehabilitation era. 

This line of argument can be continued (consider, for example, that it would be 
impossible to hide this mass of people from foreign intelligence services), but by now we 
hope that the reader sees that MGK are completely divorced from reality in suggesting such a 
scenario. We will only reiterate that whatever documents there are directly refute MGK, as 
has been already shown above. Case in point is the statistics of the special settlements. 

The "special settlers" - spetspereselentsy or spetsposelentsy , was a special category of 
repressed groups of people. These special settlers were exiled from their homes and lands 
into faraway regions of USSR as punishment for alleged misdeeds. The decision was taken 
not by courts, but by Stalin. The mass deportations began with the so-called "kulaks", then, 
since mid-1930s, people began to be deported according to ethnic category as well. All the 
deported peoples, such as Chechens and Ingushs, Koreans, Germans and many others were 
classified as "special settlers". Deportation of ethnic groups became an established procedure 
and therefore we know that if Jews were to be ever deported en masse, they would have 
figured in the secret "special settlements" statistics. 

The issue of "special settlements" has been studied at length by historians on the basis 
of archival documents. Works by Zemskov, Bugai, Polian and others reconstructed the full 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

picture of the deportations and presented statistical information about the deportees. 193 The 
totality of documentary evidence completely refutes the notion of Soviet mass deportation of 
surviving foreign Jews to unknown destinations in USSR and thus, automatically, destroys 
the "transit camp" thesis. 

It should be noted that Stalin was not averse to deporting peaceful foreign citizens as 
a matter of principle. In 1940-41, he deported approximately 315,000 people from eastern 
Poland in four sets of deportations. 194 Around 80,000 former Polish citizens who escaped 
from the Nazis (more than 60,000 of them - Jewish) were sent to work mostly in People's 
Commissariat of Forestry special settlements. They were amnestied in August 1941. The 
Soviets documented both the deportation and subsequent results. 195 

After the amnesty of former Polish citizens, the number of Jews among the special 
settlers was always insubstantial. There was no separate category for Jewish special settlers 
(like there were categories for Germans, Greeks, Chechens, etc.). The Jewish spetsposelentsy 
always fell under other categories, such as people resettled from the Western parts of Ukraine 
and Belorussia, people resettled from Moldavia, etc. However the Soviet authorities also kept 
count of ethnicities, so we can also ascertain that there weren't hundreds of thousands Jews 
hidden under other labels. 

According to MVD SSSR memo issued in January 1953, on January 1, 1953, there 
were 2,753,356 special settlers, among them 1,810,140 adults (17 years old and older). 
Among these adults there were 5168 Jews. 196 In January 1955 among 1,690,049 special 
settlers there were 4547 Jews. 197 In 1958 among 145,968 special settlers there were 1054 
Jews. 198 

The presence of hundreds of thousands of foreign Jews among the special settlers can 
also be excluded because we have the data on how many foreigners were resettled. In 
October of 1951 there were 17,285 citizens of other states or people without citizenship 

193 V. N. Zemskov, Spetsposelentsy v SSSR, 1930-1960, Moscow: Nauka, 2003; works by N. F. Bugai are too 
numerous to list, but of special interest to us is his article about the deportations of Jews in USSR: N. F. Bugai, 
"Pereseleniya i deportatsii evreyskogo naseleniya v SSSR", Otechestvennaya istoriya, 1993, no. 4, p. 184; P. M. 
Polian, JVe po svoey vole..., Moscow: O.G.I. -Memorial, 2001; T. V. Tsarevskaya-Dyakina (ed.), 
Spetspereselentsy v SSSR, vol. 5 of Istoriya Stalinskogo GULAGa series, Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2004. 

194 Aleksander Gurjanov, 'Cztery deportacje 1940-1941', KARTA, 12, 1994, pp. 114-136 

195 Zemskov, Spetsposelentsy, pp. 84-90, 97; Altshuler, Soviet Jewry on the Eve of the Holocaust, pp. 325-326; 
N.S. Lebedeva, Katyn. Mart 1940 - sentyabr' 2000. Rasstrel. Sud'by zhivykh. Ekho Katyni, Moscow: "Ves' mir", 
2001, pp.381-4 (document 184; GARF 9401-2-64). 

196 Zemskov, Spetsposelentsy, pp. 205, 213. 

197 Ibid., p. 239. 

198 Bugai, 'Pereseleniya i deportatsii', p. 184. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

among the special settlers (most of them - Greek citizens), while in January 1953 there were 
28,388 foreigners (most of them Greeks). 199 

Moreover, the number of special settlers began to decrease in mid-1950s as the Thaw 
began - on January 1, 1956 there were 904,439 special settlers, on July 1, 1956 - 611,912, on 
January 1, 1957 - 211,408, on July 1, 1957 - 178,363 (mostly "anti-Soviet" contingent like 
OUN members). 200 

To give the illustration of what real deported groups were among the special settlers it 
is sufficient to present a couple of tables excerpted from the original summary documents (of 
which the many are available for different years). The first one gives the statistics of the 
special settlers from January 1 to April 1, 1945 201 : 


On 01.01.1945 

On 01.04.1945 

Chechens and Ingushs 












From Crimea 



Ssylnoposelentsy (exiles) 






Mobilized Germans 



Former kulaks 



From Georgia 



OUN members 






German collaborators 



"True Orthodox Christians" sect 






The second one gives similar statistics for January 1, 1953 



No. of people 





























Zemskov, Spetposelentsy, p. 184. 

/uu Ibid., pp. 256-260. 

201 Ibid., p. 119. We give only an excerpt of a more complete table which includes deaths, escapes, arrivals, 
releases, etc. 

202 Ibid., pp. 210-212. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 











5. FROM BALTICS IN 1945-1949 










































15. FROM BALTICS IN 1940-1941 


16. FROM GEORGIA IN 1951-1952 


17. FROM MOLDAVIA IN 1940-1941 




































These and many other documents demonstrate how exhaustive is the Soviet 
documentation for various deported groups and people. Not a single sign of the allegedly 
resettled Jews can be found among this mass of documents. 

Of course, when cornered, the deniers may claim that for some reason the resettled 
Jews weren't designated as "special settlers" and were sent not to special settlements but to 
GULAG camps. This "hypothesis" doesn't pass the smell test, since the Soviet modus 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

operandi in regard to deported peoples is quite clear from the historical record and there is no 
reason to suppose that the Jews would constitute a separate case. However let us close this 
final loophole. First of all, here's the summary statistics for GULAG camps, colonies and 

prisons of USSR for January 1 of each year from 1943 to 1960 



Inmates in camps 

Inmates in colonies 

Inmates in prisons 

Total number of 



























































































These numbers clearly cannot support continued presence of many hundreds of 
thousands of foreign Jews in Soviet detention locations. Moreover, the data about the 
ethnicity of GULAG inmates is also available. Here's the statistics for January 1, 1951 204 : 


Inmates in camps 

Inmates in colonies 














































Finns and Karelians 
























V. N. Zemskov, "Demografiya zaklyuchyonnykh, spetsposelentsev i ssylnykh (30-50-ye gody)", Mir Rossii, 
1999, vol. VIII, no. 4, p. 115. Cf. J. A. Getty, G. T. Rittersporn, V. N. Zemskov, "Victims of the Soviet penal 
system in the pre-war years: a first approach on the basis of archival evidence", The American Historical 
Review, 1993, vol. 98, no. 4, pp. 1048-1049. 

204 V. N. Zemskov, "GULAG (istoriko-sotsiologicheskiy aspekt)", Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya, 1991, no. 7, 
p. 9. 


So Where Did They Go? "Resettlement" to the East 

























































Others, of them: 




native to USSR 












And for completeness sake, in January 1942 there were 23164 Jews in GULAG, in 
January 1943 - 20230, in January 1944 - 15317, in January 1945 - 14433, in January 1946 - 
10839, in January 1947 - 9530 (with the data for 1946 and 1947 being incomplete). 205 

MGK's theory is thus categorically refuted through each step of its expected 
evidentiary chain: instead of discovering two million 'resettled' Jews, the Red Army reported 
only of its discoveries of the death camps 206 ; instead of those 'resettled' Jews being deported 
by the Soviet Union, a much smaller amount of deportations took place in the years after the 
war and were not anti- Jewish in their aim. Such a specious explanation, proposed without 
evidence and obviously conjured up on a whim by MGK to explain the disappearance and 
silence of supposed 'resettled' Jews, is a classic illustration of why Holocaust Revisionism is 
actually a form of pseudohistory. It also forces MGK to delineate the workings of a "hoax," 
for although the term is avoided by MGK in their works, they do argue for a conspiracy 
between the Soviet Union and (unnamed) Zionist leaders to cover up the fate of the 
'resettled' Jews. 207 Such a fantastic theory is not sourced to any piece of evidence, and can 
thus be safely discarded until such is provided. 

V. N. Zemskov, "GULAG (istoriko-sotsiologicheskiy aspekt)", Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya, 1991, no. 6, 
p. 26. For 01.01.1946, data about ethnicities of 145,974 inmates is lacking, and for 01.01.1947 the data for 
22,398 inmates is lacking. It is clear, however, that this incompleteness doesn't help the deniers. 

206 Cf. Sergey Romanov's multi-part series, 'What the Soviets knew about Auschwitz-and when,' Holocaust 
Controversies, http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.eom/2006/04/quick-links.html#sovau 

207 MGK, Sobibor, p.373. 


Chapter 5 

Gas Chambers at the Aktion Reinhard 


[Investigation Commission] 

So the day of deliverance for the patient arrives. Before an investigative committee under 
the direction of the asylum doctor, the personal and medical details of the patient are 
examined and assessed. 


For archival purposes, photographs are taken of the patient. 

[Gas Chamber (Cuts to turning on of the valve, gasometer, and observation by the doctor)] 

In a hermetically sealed room the patient is exposed to the effects of carbon monoxide gas. 
The incoming gas is completely odourless and initially robs the patient of their powers of 
judgement, and then their consciousness. 

Completely unknown by the patient, without pain and without struggle, the deliverance of 
death takes effect. 

1942 draft for a Nazi documentary on mercy killings of mentally sick persons by 
German director Herman Schweninger 1 

A "Humane" Solution: Poison Gas and the Development of the Gas Chambers 

Poison gas had been a method chosen by Nazi leaders since 1939 for purposes of 'racial 
hygiene', to exterminate those deemed to be 'unfit'. On December 12-13, 1939, for instance, 
SS chief Heinrich Himmler visited Posen, probably in the company of RKPA deputy chief 
Werner, and was shown a model gassing at the experimental euthanasia facility in Fort VII, 
Posen. His adjutant Joachim Peiper recalled this in two accounts given in 1967 and 1970. 2 In 
the genocidal climate that reigned during the late summer/autumn of 1941, the idea to extend 
the use of poison gas on a widespread scale against social and political enemies grew in 
popularity among Nazi officials. 3 On July 16, 1941, SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Rolf-Heinz 
Hoppner, head of the Security Service (SD) in Poznan, wrote a memo to Adolf Eichmann 

1 NARA T-1021, Record Group 242/338, Roll 12, 'Entwurf fur den wissenschaftlichen Dokumentarfilm G.K.', 

29.10.1942, p. 127171. The script is marked 'Geheime Reichssache!' 

1 Volker Riess, Die Anfange der Vernichtung "lebensunwerten Leben" in den Reichsgauen Danzig- 

Westpreussen und Wartheland 1939/40. Frankfurt am Main, 1995, p. 307, citing Peiper testimony, 1970. 

3 This is a subject that is almost entirely ignored by MGK in their publications. 


Gas Chambers at the Aktion Reinhard Camps 

regarding possible solutions to problems inside the Warthegau. Hoppner suggested to 
Eichmann the following: 4 

A danger persists this winter that not all of the Jews (of the Warthegau) can be 
fed. It should be seriously considered if the most humane solution is not to finish 
off those Jews incapable of work by some quick working means. In any case, this 
would be more pleasant than letting them starve to death. 

The wording of the document clearly refers to some type of poisoning act. Hoppner also 

recommended that employable Jewish women capable of bearing children in the Lodz ghetto 

be sterilized, in order to "solve the Jewish problem within this generation" (damit mit dieser 

Generation tatsdchlich das Judenproblem restlos gelost wird). s With the memo to Eichmann, 

Hoppner was pushing for the complete extermination of any Warthegau Jew not employed at 

that point in time. 6 

While Hoppner was reacting to local circumstances inside the Warthegau, poison gas 

was also seen as a solution to the problems in the occupied Soviet territories. As the open-air 

shootings escalated to include more Jewish women and children among the victims, the 

psychological effects grew immensely upon the shooters. Poison gas was seen as a means to 

overcome the trauma experienced by the executioners in these shootings. This is supported 

by, among other things, the memoirs Auschwitz Kommandant Rudolf Hoss who records a 

discussion with Eichmann: 

We further discussed how the mass annihilation was to be carried out. Only gas 
was suitable since killing by shooting the huge numbers expected would be 
absolutely impossible and would also be a tremendous strain on the SS soldiers 
who would have to carry out the order as far as the women and children were 
concerned. 7 

Walter Rauff similar testified voluntarily in 1972 about the development of gas vans: 

The main issue for me at the time was that the shootings were a considerable 
burden for the men who were in charge thereof, and this burden was taken off 
them through the use of the gas vans. 8 

The testimony of Dr. August Becker, inspector of the gas wagons, confirms Rauff 's 


4 Hoppner an Eichmann, 16.7.41, T/219, also published in VEJ 4, pp. 680-1. 

5 Ibid. 

6 It is noteworthy that Hoppner was close to both Warthegau Gauleiter Arthur Greiser and Warthegau SS and 
Police Chief Wilhelm Koppe. Kershaw, 'Improvised Genocide?', p. 66. 

7 Hbss, Death Dealer, p. 28. 


Rauff deposition to West German investigators, Santiago, Chile, 28.6.72. The deposition is on-line; English 
translation by Roberto Muehlenkamp: http://nizkor.Org/ftp.cgi/people/r/ 
(ZSL, II 415 AR-Z 1310/63-E32, Bl.534-549, StA Hamburg Az. 147 Js 31/67). 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

The leaders of the Einsatzgruppen in the East increasingly complained that the 
shooting commandos couldn't withstand the psychological and moral stress of the 
mass shootings in the long run. I know that the people of the commands were 
even in mental houses, and that therefore a new and better killing method needed 
to be found (. . .) When I was transferred to Rauff in December 1941, he explained 
to me the situation that the psychological and moral stress on the shooting 
commandos was no longer sustainable and that therefore the gassing operation 
had been started. 9 

As early as August 11, 1941, in a travel report on the economic situation in the Baltic, Major 

von Payr included a description of the "Jewish question" in Riga. Von Payr recorded the 

execution of Jewish men in the area ("mehrere tausend Juden 'liquidiert'") as well as talk that 

the Jewish women were "later to be eliminated by gassing." 10 

In early-mid August, developments regarding homicidal gassings also developed in 
the occupied Belorussian territory. Reichsfiihrer-SS Himmler visited the area in this 
timeframe, witnessing a morning execution in Minsk of "Jews and partisans" on August 15, 
followed by a tour of the psychiatric asylum of Novinki, just north of the Belorussian 
capital. 11 Just prior to Himmler's visit Einsatzgruppe B commander Arthur Nebe ordered the 
assistance of a chemist from the Criminal Technical Institute (KTI) in Berlin. 12 Shortly after 
Himmler's visit, HSSPF Bach-Zelewski also twice requested the assistance of SS- 
Sturmbannfuhrer Lange, who had experience with poison gas technology in occupied 
Poland. 13 

In mid-September 1941, following further requests for KTI personnel, discussions 
were held regarding how to kill the inmates at the Novinki asylum. Nebe requested that the 
experts consider using explosives or poison gas. As chemist Dr. Albert Widmann discussed 
with his superior, HeeE, carbon monoxide bottles were ruled out due to the probable transport 
problems. 14 Instead, the idea of sealing victims into a building and pumping engine exhaust 
inside was accepted as a method worth exploring. Along with two experiments with 
explosives at Novinki, exhaust gas was successfully tested on mental patients in Mogilev, 

9 Klee/Dressen, Schone Zeiten, p. 71. 

10 "Man sprach davon, dass sie spaeter durch Vergasung beseitigt werden sollen." Reisebericht des la des 
Wehrwirtschafts- und Ruestungsamts des OKW ueber seinen Besuch im Abschnitt der Wirtschaftsinspektion 
Nord, 11. August 1941, published in Kulka/Jaeckel (eds), Die Juden in den geheimen Stimmungsberichten 
1933-1945, p.454. 

11 Dienstkalender, p. 195 (15.8.1941). 

12 Engelmann an KdS Warschau, 8.8.41, BA Dahlwitz-Hoppegarten ZR 7, Bl. 120; cf. Browning, Origins, p. 513 
n. 329. Nebe was director of Amt V of the RSHA (Chief of the Reich Criminal Police Office), to which the KTI 
was subordinated. 

13 FS von dem Bach an Koppe, dates, PRO HW16/32; cf. Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, p. 648; Lange, for 
whatever reason, was unable to help HSSP Bach-Zelewski. 

14 Interrogation of Dr. Albert Widmann on 11 January 1960, Archives of the Holocaust Vol.22, p. 478.; cf. Beer, 
'Development of the Gas- Van.' 


Gas Chambers at the Aktion Reinhard Camps 

following the request of Einsatzkommando 8. 15 There also are multiple testimonies that 
Himmler visited the Mogilev site during the testing period. 16 

From these experiments, and with the need of the Einsatzgruppen to remain as mobile 
as possible, work soon began on homicidal gas vans, which would cycle their engine exhaust 
into an attached cabin filled with people. 17 RSHA chief Reinhard Heydrich quickly turned to 
Walter Rauff, head of the RSHA office of technical affairs (including motor vehicles), who in 
turn summoned motor pool chief Friedrich Pradel to discuss the possibility of such vehicles. 
Rauff mentioned that a "more humane method of execution" was needed in the East. 18 Such a 
method was described in a May 1942 letter to Rauff as "death by dozing off" instead of 
suffocation. 19 

Pradel then commissioned Security Police chief mechanic Harry Wentritt, who 
testified about the set-up of the vans: 

A flexible exhaust pipe was installed at the truck's exhaust, with a diameter of 58 
to 60 millimeters (2.26 to 2.34 inches), and a hole of the same size was drilled in 
the van floor; a metal pipe was soldered into the hole from the outside to which 
the flexible exhaust pipe was fixed. When the various parts were connected, the 
truck engine was started and the exhaust fumes were channeled into the van, 
through the pipe leading from the exhaust to the hole in the van floor. 20 

After gaseous samples were taken to test the carbon monoxide concentration in the engine 

exhaust, in early-mid November 1941 an experimental gassing with some thirty persons was 

conducted at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where the KTI had a workshop. KTI 

chemists Leidig and Hoffman as well as KTI head HeeE were present. Leidig testified that 

after the gassing, "the corpses had, as we chemists determined, the pink appearance which is 

typical for people who have died of carbon monoxide poisoning." 21 

By year's end, half a dozen such vans had been produced and distributed to various 

units and locations (one with Einsatzgruppe C, one with Einsatzgruppe D, two to Riga, and 

two to Chelmno), with more ordered around that time. Eye-witnesses in the occupied 

territories reported the appearance of gas vans late in 1941, serving to assist in the murder of 

15 Angrick, Besatzungspolitik und Massenmord, p. 368 ff. and Christian Gerlach also suggests a gassing 
experiment at Novinki, see Gerlach, 'Mogilew', p. 65. 

16 Beer, 'Development of the Gas- Van,' citing Karl Schulz, Nebe's adjutant, deposition on 9.3.59, StA Stuttgart, 
Az.13 Js 328/60; ZSL, Az.439 AR-Z 18a/1960, B1.48; deposition by B.Wehners on 26.1.60, StA Bremen, Az.6 
Js 3/6; ZSL, Az.202 AR-Z 152/1959, Bl.57f.. 

17 Beer, 'Development of the Gas- Van,' cutting deposition by A. Widmann on 27.1.59 and on 12.1.60. 

18 Browning, Origins, p. 355, citing Pradel/Wentritt trial, Pradel testimony and Rauff testimony. 

19 Becker an Rauff, 16.5.1942, 501-PS. 

20 Beer, 'Development of the Gas- Van'; Deposition by H. Wentritt on 2.2.61, (n.46), B1.260d ff. 

21 Beer, 'Die Entwicklung der Gaswagen', 411; Deposition by Leidig on 6.2.59 (note 52), B1.49. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Jews. 22 At the beginning of June 1942, automotive official Willy Just of the Security Police 
recorded that since December 1941 "ninety-seven thousand have been processed, using three 
vans without any defects showing up in the vehicles." Just was coldly referring to victims of 
three gas vans in the Warthegau. 23 

The planning of murders with poison gas gathered pace in October 1941 due to the 
imminent deportation of Jews from the Reich and the Protectorate. In a speech in Prague, 
Heydrich had referred to the need "to gather the plans and the raw material" and to "test the 
material." 24 The gas vans were highly valued for Riga as on October 25, 1941, the 
Ostministerium Jewish expert, Erhard Wetzel, drafted a letter in Minister Rosenberg's name 
to be sent to Reich Kommissar for the Ostland Hinrich Lohse. The letter concerned 
discussions that Wetzel had with Viktor Brack and Adolf Eichmann. 25 Brack, former head of 
the T4 institution, declared his willingness to aid in the "production of the required shelters 
and gassing apparatuses ("Vergassungsapparate")" in Riga, which was considered more 
efficient than transporting some from the Reich. 26 For Eichmann' s part, he must have agreed 
to the killing of Jews unfit for work in Riga in the gassing units, as there were no objections 
"if those Jews who are not fit for work are removed by Brack's device." On the same day that 
Wetzel drafted the letter, Lohse showed up in Berlin to protest the imminent deportations of 
Reich Jews to Riga. During his stay, Lohse almost certainly discussed the relevant points of 
the letter with Ostministerium officials. 27 Either way, gas vans were soon sent from Berlin to 

The push for alternative methods of murder was fuelled by the circumstances and 
experience of numerous Nazi officials across Eastern Europe. The July 16, 1941 memo by 
Poznan Security Services chief Hoppner highlights the horrible state of Jewish living 
conditions in the Warthegau, with the enormous expected losses due to starvation. Too 
squeamish to watch the Jews slowly perish from deprivation, Hoppner pushed for another 
way to achieve the end result upon those Jews unfit for work. Lohse was similarly presented 
in Berlin with the more "humane" option against Jews unfit for work in order to ease the 
acceptance of Jewish deportations from the Reich to Riga. The mental stamina of the Nazi 
executioners in the open-air shootings in the occupied Soviet territories was also wearing thin 

22 Beer, 'Die Entwicklung der Gaswagen. 

23 Just an Rauff, 5.6.1942, BA R 58/871, also T/1390; cf. Kogon, Nazi Mass Murder, pp.228-335. 

24 Heydrich, Rede, 2.10.1941, published in Karny et al (eds), Politik im 'Protektorat Bohmen und Mahreri unter 
Reinhard Heydrich 1941-1942, pp. 107-22. 

25 RMO, Sachbearbeiter AGR Dr. Wetzel, Losung der Judenfrage, 25.10.41, NO-365. 

26 Such devices were noted to not yet have been manufactured, which fits neatly into the gas van development 
chronology described, with the first prototype being tested in November. 

27 This would explain why the letter was neither formally signed nor sent. 


Gas Chambers at the Aktion Reinhard Camps 

at this time especially as more Jewish women and children were being included among the 
liquidations. A less personal, less direct method was requested for all parties involved with 
the "Jewish Question." Formerly general ideas of a "quick-working means" soon cemented 
into the use of engine exhaust. As shown, these developments paved the road to the 
construction of homicidal gas vans. Parallel to the origins of the gas vans are the stationary 
homicidal gas chambers which would come into service in the spring of 1942, also 
employing engine exhaust. They are the subject of the next section. 

While gas vans were being constructed in Berlin to aid in the mobile killing actions in 
the occupied Soviet territories, agreements were also made regarding the murder of Jews in 
the district of Lublin, part of the General Government in occupied Poland. 28 Following the 
decision in October 1941 to construct an extermination camp in Belzec, the SS 
Zentralbauleitung (Central Building Directorate) acquired twenty local Polish residents and 
several Ukrainians to take part in the construction of the camp, located off the main Lublin- 
to-Lwow railway line, southeast of the main Belzec station. Polish labourer Stanislaw Kozak 
later testified to a postwar Polish investigative committee about the construction of three 
barracks at the Belzec camp site in November and December 1941 : 29 

Next to this we built a third, 12 meters long and 8 meters wide. This building was 
divided into three timber partitions, rendering each section 4 meters wide and 8 
meters long. They were 2 meters in height. The internal walls of the barracks 
were constructed by nailing the boards onto the frame and filling in the cavity 
with sand. On the inside of the barracks, the walls were covered with board, and 
the floors and walls were then covered with zinc up to a height of 1.10 meters. 
(...) The north facing side of each section had a door, which was about 1.80 
meters high and 1.10 meters wide. The doors had rubber seals. All the doors 
opened outwards. The doors were very strong, made out of 7-cm-thick boards, 
and, to avoid them being pushed open from the inside, they were secured by a 
wooden bar resting in two iron hooks put up specifically for the purpose. 

The Belzec barracks that Kozak most likely refers to are the living quarters for Jewish 

prisoners, the undressing barrack, and the gas chamber, with three chambers measuring close 

to 8 x 4 meters. 

After the completion of the three buildings described by Kozak, and as a result of 

Heinrich Himmler's agreement with Philip Bouhler in mid-December 1941 to make former 

Euthanasia personnel available to Odilo Globocnik, head of Aktion Reinhard, an initial wave 

of former T4 personnel arrived in Belzec towards the end of December 1941. Among this 

28 See the section Odilo Globocnik, SS Planning and the Origins of Aktion Reinhard, Chapter 3. 

29 Vernehmung Stanislaw Kozak, 14.10.1945, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd. 6, pp.1129-30. MGK rely upon 
Kozak's testimony in support of their thesis that Belzec was a delousing-transit camp. This argument will be 
analyzed in the next section. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

first wave of personnel was Polizeihauptmann Christian Wirth, who was given command of 
the Belzec extermination camp. SS-Scharfiihrer Erich Fuchs went with Wirth to Belzec: 

One day in the winter of 1941 Wirth arranged a transport to Poland. I was picked 
together with about eight or ten other men and transferred to Belzec in three 
cars.. Wirth told us that in Belzec "all the Jews will be bumped off." For this 
purpose barracks were built as gas chambers. In the gas chambers I installed 
shower heads. The nozzles were not connected to any water pipes because they 
would only serve as camouflage for the gas chamber. For the Jews who were 
gassed it would seem as if they were being taken to baths and for disinfection. 30 

The background of Wirth is crucial. In early 1940, Wirth and Eberl had attended a test 

gassing at Brandenburg. 31 Stangl and Wirth had commanded the Hartheim 'euthanasia' camp 

before their spells in Aktion Reinhard. Stangl had testified about gassing protocols at 

Hartheim during his interrogation in Linz in 1947. 32 In September 1945, Hartheim stoker 

Vinzenz Nohel revealed that Wirth had shot four Jewish women who were too sick to walk to 

the gas chamber. 33 Hermann Merta and Karl Harrer also stated that they received the 

belongings of gassed victims as gifts from Wirth. 34 

The affidavit of Gorgass makes an explicit connection between these gassing 

activities and Wirth' s transfer to Aktion Reinhard: 

Police Captain WIRTH, whom I knew personally and who was administrative 
director in several Euthanasia institutions, told me late in summer 1941 that he 
had been transferred by the "foundation" to a Euthanasia institute in the Lublin 

It is likely that around the same time construction was underway for the Belzec extermination 

camp, preparations and planning had also begun at the site of the future Sobibor camp, also in 

the Lublin district. Polish railway worker Jan Piwonski testified: 

In the autumn of 1941 German officers arrived at the station of Sobibor on three 
occasions. During their visit to the station they took measurements of the 
platform, and the sidings leading away from the platform, and then went into the 
woods nearby. I have no idea what they were doing there. Sometime later some 
very thick doors, which had rubber strips around them, arrived by train. We 

30 Erich Fuchs, 2.4.1963, BAL 162/208 AR-Z 251/59, Bd. 9, 1782-1783. 

31 Burleigh, Death and Deliverance, pp. 133-34. 

32 Peter Schwarz, 'Der Gerichtsakt Georg Renno als Quelle fur das Projekt Hartheim', DoeW Jahrbuch, 1999, 
pp. 80-92. 

33 Testimony of Vinzenz Nohel, 4.9.45, DOW, E18370/3. The date and location of this testimony, and the 
national jurisdiction of the Austrian police over their own euthanasia cases, disprove Samuel CrowelPs claim 
that the euthanasia 'narrative' was concocted for the Nuremberg trials. For an English translation of this and 
other parts of Nohel's testimony, see Herwig Czech, 'Nazi Medical Crimes at the Psychiatric Hospital Gugging: 
Background and Historical Context', (DOW), no date, pp. 7-8. 

34 Friedlander, The Origins of Nazi Genocide, pp. 234-35, citing Bezirksgericht Ybbs, interrogation of Hermann 
Merta, 3.12.45 and LG Linz, interrogation of Karl Harrer, 6.3.47. Both located at DOW E18370/3. 

35 Affidavit of Hans Bodo Gorgass, 23.2.47, NO-3010. 


Gas Chambers at the Aktion Reinhard Camps 

speculated on what purpose the doors might be serving, and it dawned on us that 
the Germans were building something here, especially when trainloads of bricks 
were also being delivered, and they started to bring Jews over as well. 36 

SS-Scharfuhrer Fuchs, after helping with the installation of gas chambers at Belzec, was then 

employed in the construction of the Sobibor gas chambers in early spring 1942: 

Sometime in the spring of 1942 I drove a truck to Lemberg on Wirth's orders and 
picked up a gassing engine, which I took to Sobibor. Upon my arrival at Sobibor I 
found near the station an area with a concrete structure and several permanent 
houses. The special commando there was led by Thomalla. Other SS men present 
included Floss, Bauer, Stangl, Friedl, Schwarz and Barbl. We unloaded the 
engine. It was a heavy Russian petrol engine (presumably an armoured vehicle or 
traction engine), at least 200 HP (V-engine, 8-cylinder, water cooled). We 
installed the engine on a concrete base and connected the exhaust to the pipeline. 
Then I tried the engine. It hardly worked. I repaired the ignition and the valves, 
and finally got the engine to start. 37 

Along with the homicidal gas vans, the gas chambers at Sobibor and Belzec were based upon 

the lethal effects of engine exhaust introduced into an area where human beings were trapped. 

carbon monoxide, one of the toxins in engine exhaust, was a favoured method in its bottled 

form in mobile and stationary gas chambers against mentally ill patients following the 

occupation of Poland in 1939. 

The use of engine exhaust for mass murder had also been exemplified since 8 
December 1941 in Chelmno, where Warthegau officials stationed several gas vans employing 
such means to gas thousands of Jews. Gassings by Sonderkommando Lange (including at the 
Soldau "transit camp") during 1940 were discussed in Chapter 2, where we showed how 
these paved the way for the same unit's involvement in the gassing at Chelmno. Thus, when 
T4 personnel were assigned to help establish homicidal gas chambers at the Reinhard camps, 
the idea of engine exhaust was the method most offering itself. 

Of course, there were other gaseous methods accessible to Nazi officials to use in 
order to poison unwanted persons. For the Auschwitz camp staff, the newly available 
cyanide-based pesticide Zyklon-B presented itself as a suitable method to dispose of the 
increasing number of Soviet prisoners of war, sick prisoners, and Jewish laborers who were 
"unfit for work." 38 In early September 1941, a provisional gassing test was undertaken in cell 
block 11 in the main Auschwitz camp. After sealing the block and making it airtight, several 
hundred Soviet prisoners of war, in addition to a large group of sick inmates were brought 

36 Schelvis, Sobibor, p. 27. 

37 Schelvis, Sobibor, p.100, citing Erich Fuchs, Koblenz, 8.4.1963, ZStL-251/51/9-1782/83. 

38 Longerich, Holocaust, p. 280. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

into the basement cells, where several SS officers with gas masks dispensed the Zyklon-B. 39 
Several more gassings in the main camp were performed with the pesticide in the 
autumn/winter 1941-1942. 

Unfortunately for MGK, the use of different methods by different actors in different 
situations to mass murder people in different locations does not preclude the truth of those 
events. Such complexities are not unusual to recorded human history, and in no way cast 
doubt on the independent sources of evidence regarding those different methods. Instead of 
properly addressing that evidence, MGK instead ignore, distort, and straw man the current 
research on the development of the Nazi gas chambers, which highlight the influence and 
importance of local circumstances and actions in the progression of Nazi policy against the 
Jews. For instance, MGK argue that it "cannot be explained why the euthanasia personnel" 
built gas chambers for the Reinhard camps, but not for Auschwitz-Birkenau. 40 Such poor 
quality arguments of incredulity stem from MGK's ignorance and incomprehension of the 
literature, for historians have indeed explained such matters, as we have above. 

The Original & Second Gas Chambers at Belzec and Sobibor 

On March 17, 1942, the first deportation trains carrying Jews from Lublin arrived at the 
Belzec camp. As the capacity of the ramp was limited inside the Belzec camp, the trains were 
often separated into two or three sections, all driven into the camps individually. Only a 
select few locomotive drivers were allowed to bring the trains into the Belzec camp, while the 
others had to stop just outside the entrance. Polish railway worker Stefan Kirsz testified to 
these events after the war: 

As a co-driver of a locomotive, I led the Jewish transports from the station of 
Rava-Russkaya to Belzec many times... These transports were divided in Belzec 
into three parts. Each part, which consisted of twenty freight trains, was taken to 
the railway spur inside the camp pushed by the locomotive, and stopped near the 
former border wall of 1939/1940. Immediately after the freight cars stopped 
inside the camp, they were emptied of Jews and their luggage. I saw that in 
addition to the living, corpses were taken out... The Germans did not allow us to 
watch the camp, but I was able to see it when I approached the camp and 
deceptively pretended that I must put the coal closer to the entrance gate. 41 


Cf. Klodzinski, 'Die erste Vergasung', also Joachim Neander and Sergey Romanov, 'Dr. Neander responds to 
Carlo Mattogno,' Holocaust Controversies, 13.2.10, 
ioachim-neander-responds-to-carlo.html . Dr. Neander's response and Sergey Romanov's postscript demolish 
the fallacies and distortions in Mattogno's account on the first gassing at Auschwitz. 

40 MGK, Sobibor, pp.272-273. 

41 Stefan Kirsz, 15.10.1945, BAL 162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd. 6, pp.1147-1148; cf. Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, 
Treblinka, p. 69. 


Gas Chambers at the Aktion Reinhard Camps 

Those Jews who survived the transport to Belzec were unloaded into the reception area 
(Camp I) and separated by gender. During this time, assurances were being made by SS staff 
(usually camp commander Wirth) that the arrivals would be bathed, clothed, and then sent on 
to other camps in the East. All prisoners were then made to undress. Former T4 associate SS- 
Unterscharfiihrer Karl Alfred Schluch, who had been deployed to Belzec when the killing 
operations began, attests: 

In the morning or noon time we were informed by Wirth, Schwartz, or by 
Oberhauser that a transport with Jews should arrive soon... The disembarkation 
from the freight cars was carried out by a group of Jewish prisoners under the 
command of their capos. Two or three Germans from the camp staff supervised 
this action. It was my obligation to carry out such supervisions. After the 
disembarkation, the Jews were taken to the assembly square. During the 
disembarkation, the Jews were told that they had come here for transfer and they 
should go to baths and disinfection. This announcement was made by Wirth and 
translated by a Jewish capo. 42 

SS-man Kurt Franz 43 also testified about the unloading procedure at Belzec: 

I heard with my own ears how Wirth, in a quite convincing voice, explained to 
the Jews that they would be deported further and before that, for hygienic reasons, 
they must bathe themselves and their clothes would have to be disinfected. Inside 
the undressing barrack was a counter for the deposit of valuables. It was made 
clear to the Jews that after the bath their valuables would be returned to them. I 
can still hear, until today, how the Jews applauded Wirth after his speech. This 
behaviour of the Jews convinces me that the Jews believed Wirth. . , 44 

As the women were given haircuts, the men were sent to the gas chambers first in order to 

decrease the chance of rebellion. Following the haircuts, and once the gas chambers had been 

cleaned from the previous batch of victims, the women with children were sent on. In order to 

reach the gas chambers, victims were sent along a "tube" (Schlauch), a forested and fenced 

pathway leading from the reception area to the extermination area. A recent analysis of 

wartime aerial photographs of the Belzec camp revealed indications of fencing matching the 

description of this "tube" (see image 5.1). These lineations are likely the result of fallen 

needles and other foliage which was interwoven into the fence to help camouflage the march 

to the gas chambers. 45 

42 Karl Alfred Schluch, 11.11.1961, BAL 162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd. 8, p. 1511-1512; cf. Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, 
Treblinka, p. 70. 

43 A witness who MGK fail to discuss in any substantive fashion in all of their works. 

44 Kurt Franz, 14.9.1961, BAL 162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd. 7, p.1421; cf, Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, p.70. 

45 Alex Bay, 'Belzec: Reconstruction of the Death Camp,' Holocaust History Project, http://holocaust- 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

&L- 10 meters 
5 meters 


Image 5.1: Traces of the "Tube" at Belzec, with an image showing the possible location 

of the Gas Chambers 


Witness SS officer Schluch described the extermination procedure as follows: 

After the Jews entered the gas chambers, the doors were closed by Hackenholt 
himself or by the Ukrainian subordinate to him. Then Hackenholt switched on the 
engine which supplied the gas. After five or seven minutes - and this is only an 
estimate - someone looked through the small window into the gas chamber to 
verify whether all inside were dead. Only then were the outside doors opened and 
the gas chambers ventilated... After the gas chambers were ventilated, the Jewish 
Work Kommando under the leadership of a Kapo and removed the corpses out of 
the chamber. Occasionally, I had to supervise at this place; therefore, I can 
describe the whole process, which I saw and witnessed personally. . . 

The Jews inside the gas chambers were densely packed. This is the reason that the 
corpses were not lying on the floor but were mixed up in disorder in all 
directions, some of them kneeling, according to the amount of space they had. 
The corpses were besmirched with mud and urine or with spit. On the corpses I 
could partially see that lips and also nose tips had a bluish discoloration. Some of 
them had their eyes closed, others' eyes rolled. The bodies were dragged out of 
the gas chambers and inspected by a dentist, who removed finger rings and gold 
teeth. . .After this procedure, the corpses were thrown into a big pit. 46 

The most serious criticism raised against Schluch' s testimony by MGK has been for 

allegedly plagiarizing the Gerstein report. 47 This charge is simply unconvincing for the many 

distinctions in Schluch and Gerstein's testimonies. Whereas Schluch describes bodies in 

disorder inside the gas chambers, in various directions, and with some kneeling on other 

bodies, Gerstein is clear that the bodies were so packed that they had no space "to fall down 

46 Karl Alfred Schluch, 11.11.1961, BAL 162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd. 8, p. 1512-1513; cf. Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, 
Treblinka, pp. 70-71. 

47 Mattogno, Belzec, pp. 67-68. Mattogno refers to similar descriptions on position and appearance of gassed 


Gas Chambers at the Aktion Reinhard Camps 

or even lean forward." 48 Schluch and Gerstein diverge on the degree to which gassed corpses 
were blue; Gerstein refers to the whole corpses as blue, while Schluch only refers to a bluish 
tinge on the victims' lips and nose. While Schluch was very uncertain on the type of engine 
used for the gassings, Gerstein showed no hesitancy to state that it was a diesel later on in his 
accounts. For the size of the gas chambers, Schluch describes the size of the original/old gas 
chambers (4 x 8 m) while Gerstein refers to that of the new ones (6 chambers, 5x5 each) On 
the size of burial pits, Schluch' s very rough estimate (30 x 20 x 5/6 m) is not close to that 
reported by Gerstein (100 x 20 x 12). Schluch and Gerstein also discuss details ignored by the 
other; Schluch discusses the victims' eyes, while Gerstein discusses menstrual blood. It is 
clear that Schluch was not drawing his testimonial evidence from the Gerstein report, despite 
the best wishes of MGK to disregard Schluch' s testimony. 

Several weeks behind in its construction, Sobibor was planned similar in its general 
layout to Belzec. Victims would be brought in through rail, unloaded on a ramp, brought to 
the reception camp (Camp II), separated by gender, undressed, shaven, gassed, and then 
buried. SS-Obersturmfuhrer Franz Stangl, chosen by Globocnik as the first Commandant of 
Sobibor, was given a taste of his future task in a required visit to Belzec, where he was to 
meet Belzec Commandant Wirth. Stangl later discussed the visit: 

I can't describe to you what it was like. . . I went there by car. As one arrived, one 
first reached Belzec railway station, on the left side of the road. The camp was on 
the same side, but up a hill. The Kommandantur was 200 metres away, on the 
other side of the road. It was a one-storey building. The smell... Oh God, the 
smell. It was everywhere. Wirth wasn't in his office. I remember, they took me 
to him... he was standing on a hill, next to the pits ... the pits ... full... they were 
full. I can't tell you; not hundreds, thousands, thousands of corpses ... oh God. 
That's where Wirth told me - he said that was what Sobibor was for. 49 

At Sobibor, the gas chambers were finished in mid-April, a month after the start of 

operations at Belzec. Three chambers, measuring approximately 4x4 meters according to 

some accounts, were housed in a wooden structure atop a concrete base. Erich Bauer (who 

MGK incorrectly identify once as 'Ernst' Bauer) 50 , self-proclaimed Gasmeister (gas master), 

described the newly constructed Sobibor gas chambers: 

When we arrived, Lager 3 had not been completely fenced off yet, certainly not 
on the right hand-side, and I am not sure whether any fence had been put up 
through the woods. The gas chamber was already there, a wooden building on a 
concrete base, about the same size as this courtroom though much lower, as low 


Affidavit by Gerstein, 25.4.1945, 1553-PS. 
Sereny, Into that Darkness, p. 111. 
MGK, Sobibor, p.172. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

as a normal house. There were two or three chambers, in front of which there was 
a corridor that, from the outside, you accessed via a bridge. The doors were 
indeed wooden; they were changed later, when the gas chamber was completely 
rebuilt. The airtight doors arrived only later; I collected them myself from 
Warsaw, but that was not until the new building went up. 51 

The descriptions of the first gas chamber building and the first gassing experiment at Sobibor 

have been heavily criticized by MGK in their writings, particularly by Kues. 52 MGK 

highlight variations among the testimonies of Bauer, Fuchs, and Stangl regarding these items 

to cast doubt on the veracity of the gassing claims (though no coherent arguments are made, 

simply well poisoning on sources). 

Regarding the building, in contrast to Bauer, Sobibor Commandant Stangl declared to 
Gitta Sereny that the first gas chamber "was a new brick building." 53 While this testimony 
was provided nearly three decades after the event (with the profound impact such a time can 
have on one's memory), it must also be remembered that Stangl was later transferred to 
Treblinka in early September, around the time that new brick gas chambers were being 
constructed at his new camp, which could be the source for the confusion. 54 The statement by 
Fuchs 55 regarding the building itself is ambiguous, as Kues recognizes 56 , and hard to pinpoint 
which building Fuchs' is referring to as the gas chamber building, and what he meant by 
"concrete structure." Even so, Fuchs is in agreement with Bauer in that the supporting 
structure of the gas chamber was made (at least partially) of cement, for the gassing engine 
had been installed on a "concrete base." 

Kues similarly highlights the variations in memory between Fuchs and Stangl 
regarding the first gassing at Sobibor. According to Fuchs, following the installation of the 
engine a trial gassing was performed: 

If my memory serves me right, I think 30 to 40 women were gassed. The Jewish 
women had to undress in a clearing in the woods near the gas chamber and were 
herded into the gas chamber by the aforementioned SS men (Floss, Bauer, Stangl, 
Friedl, Schwarz and Barbl) and Ukrainian Hilfswilligen. Once the women were 
inside, I operated the engine with Bauer. At first the engine was in neutral. We 
both stood by the engine and switched the dial to Freiauspuff auf Zelle (open 
exhaust to chamber), so releasing the gas into the chamber. As directed by the 
chemist, I adjusted the engine to a set RPM, making any further accelerating 

51 Erich Bauer, 6.10.65, StA.Dortmund, Verfahren gegen Bolender, p. 176. 

52 MGK, Sobibor, pp. 262-269. This text incorporates Kues' article, 'The Alleged First Gas Chamber Building at 

53 Sereny, Into that Darkness, p. 109. 

54 See previous section. 

55 See previous section, note 36. 

56 Kues, 'Alleged First Gas Chamber Building at Sobibor': "The "concrete structure" is apparently the gas 

chamber building.' 


Gas Chambers at the Aktion Reinhard Camps 

unnecessary. After about ten minutes the 30 to 40 women were dead. The chemist 
and the SS Fiihrer gave the signal to shut down the engine. I packed my tools and 
saw how the bodies were taken away. They were transported by means of a 
Lorenbahn (narrow gauge railway) leading from the gas chamber to an area 
farther away. 

Stangl, on the other hand, details a different version: 

Wirth was screaming and shouting again. He was around the back of the building, 
where the exit doors were. He was ranting and raving about the doors being too 
small. The people who were to be gassed had been pushed into the gas chambers 
through the exit doors. If they had gone in on the entrance side, they might have 
been spotted by someone outside the camp. (...) I think the bodies were buried 
near the brick building. No grave had been dug. I am certain that the bodies were 
not naked, but were buried with their clothes still on. I heard at the time that the 
people had resisted being locked inside the gas chamber. That was another reason 
why Wirth was so furious. 58 

In a later interview with Gitta Sereny (which Kues quotes), Stangl later states that the 
first Sobibor gassing was performed on 25 work Jews, implying males. 59 However, Kues 
ignores Stangl's admission that his information on the gassing was hearsay. This is why 
Stangl constantly refers to his conversation with Michel regarding the gassing ("Michel told 
me later", "Michel said", "I heard at the time"). Only in regards to the burial of bodies does 
Stangl purport his own beliefs, suggesting his arrival near the gas chambers didn't come until 
after the gassing, if he came at all (and didn't simply learn of the event from Michel). 

These variations, easily explainable as errors of memory (the testimonies were 
recorded many years after event), incorrectly reported events (Stangl admits hearsay from 
Michel), or as a result of two separate gassings (Fuchs does not list presence of Stangl, Wirth, 
or Michel at gassing), hardly substantiate MGK's thesis that a conspiracy was determining or 
providing answers for the Nazi perpetrators during their trials in order to fabricate the 

Following the successful test gassing(s), Sobibor was ready to handle transports of 
Jews starting in late April/early May. The opening of the Sobibor camp coincided with the 
liquidation of whole Kreise (counties) in the district of Lublin. Activity at Sobibor was 
substantially increased as a result of the sudden closure of Belzec in mid-April due to Wirth 

57 BAL 162/208 AR-Z 251/59, Bd. 9, pp. 1784-1785; cf. Schelvis, Sobibor, pp.100-101. 

58 BAL 162/208 AR-Z 230/59, Bd. 12, pp.4464-4465; cf. Schelvis, Sobibor, p.101. 

59 Sereny, Into that Darkness, pp. 113- 114. Stangl's statement: "When I got there, Wirth stood in front of the 
building wiping the sweat off his cap and fuming. Michel told me later that he'd suddenly appeared, looked 
around the gas chambers on which they were still working and said, 'Right, we'll try it out right now with those 
twenty-five work- Jews: get them up here.' They marched our twenty-five Jews up there and just pushed them in, 
and gassed them. Michel said Wirth behaved like a lunatic, hit out at his own staff with his whip to drive them 
on. And then he was livid because the doors hadn't worked properly." 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

and other German officials leaving their post at the camp. 60 SS-Oberscharfuhrer Kurt 
Bolender, who was stationed at Sobibor, described the extermination process: 

Before the Jews undressed, Oberscharfuhrer Hermann Michel (deputy 
commander of the camp) made a speech to them. On these occasions, he used to 
wear a white coat to give the impression (that he was) a physician. Michel 
announced to the Jews that they would be sent to work. But before this they 
would have to take baths and undergo disinfection so as to prevent the spread of 
diseases... After undressing, the Jews were taken through the so-called Schlauch. 
They were led to the gas chambers, not by the Germans but by the 
Ukrainians... After the Jews entered the gas chambers, the Ukrainians closed the 
doors... The motor which supplied the gas was switched on by a Ukrainian called 
Emil and by a German driver called Erich Bauer from Berlin. After the gassing, 
the doors were opened, and the corpses were removed by a group of Jewish 
workers. 61 

Erich Bauer also testified after the war about the Sobibor gassings: 

When a transport came that I worked with, I was with Fuchs and with Askaris 
(Ukrainian volunteers) in Lager 3. The undressed Jews from the transport came to 
the gas chambers in Lager 3. Meanwhile, Fuchs and I ran the engine. Later on the 
motor was already started, but at first not until people were already in the gas 
chamber as no Freiauspuff (open exhaust) option was available. It always took 
two people to start the engine; the battery was not sufficient by itself. Fuchs had 
built a special device. There was an old magnet. One man turned the crank, 
starting the engine. The flywheel had a sort of tire iron, which was used to start it, 
while another person had to operate the magnetic ignition; that is why two men 
were required to start the engine. (...) The gassing lasted about 20 to 30 minutes 
and I have seen the bodies as they were brought out. They looked like normal 
bodies, many came with some blood out their nose and mouth. 62 

As can be easily understood, figures regarding the amount of Jews put into the three 

approximately 4x4 meter gas chambers vary among the witnesses. Bauer estimated 50 to 60 

people per chamber; Bolender estimated 40 to 50 people per chamber; Karl Frenzel estimated 

the total capacity of the three chambers between 150 and 250, thus around 50 to 80 people 

per chamber; Hubert Gomerski also recalled the figure of 250. 63 These estimates give an idea 

of the initial capacity for the three original Sobibor gas chambers. Despite the constant 

attacks on such estimates by MGK, these are very realistic for such a space. 64 Fluctuations in 

60 Vernehmungsniederschrift Josef Oberhauser, 12.12.42, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd.9, p.1682; cf. 
Riickerl, NS-Vernichtungslager, pp. 136-137. Oberhauser described returning to the camp following a trip to 
Lublin, with the German camp leadership absent. 

61 Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, p. 76; Belzec-Oberhauser, Band 7, pp. 1320-1321. 

62 Protokoll vom 15.11.1965, StA Dortmund 45 JS 27/16, Ordner November 1965, p558. 

63 Schelvis, Sobibor, p.114 n.30. 

64 Attacking witness estimates on the number of gassing victims in a single chamber is a trademark of Holocaust 
"revisionists" in general, and is usually one of the primary means of witness criticism employed. Witnesses are 
known to have a poor ability to be exact on such quantifiable details, especially as time progresses. In this case, 


Gas Chambers at the Aktion Reinhard Camps 

figures were likely to depend upon the size of the arriving transports, which would determine 
the density of Jews put inside the gas chambers. A higher capacity was possible as the 
chambers could be "densely packed" as Schlauch said of Belzec. Nazi documents regarding 
the gas vans described the "normal capacity of the vans is nine to ten per square meter." 65 

In Sobibor, Graf writes that a density of 9 persons per square meter is "vaguely 
possible," while in Treblinka he writes that 10 people per square meter is the "highest density 
theoretically possible." 66 Modern mass transportation and crowd gatherings put the lie to 
Graf's rejection: during the Hajj, the Jamaraat Bridge has had measured crowd densities of 10 
people per square meter 67 , as has also been observed at Wembley stadium 68 ; buses in China 
occasionally reach up 13 persons per square meter 69 ; buses in the Brazilian city Sao Paulo 
can carry twelve passengers per square meter 70 ; trains in Mumbai reach up to 14 to 16 
standing passengers per square meter during peak hours. 71 As these examples occur largely 
amongst adults, likely to be males who are fully clothed, even higher capacities would be 
possible at the gas chambers in the Aktion Reinhard camps, where an over proportional 
number of women, children, and elderly in the transports were stripped of their clothes, with 
the deportees already suffering from dangerous malnourishment. 

MGK also fail to deal with the relationship between Fuchs and Bauer. In 1965, Fuchs 
faced charges devoted to the installation and operation of the murder weapon. He is the only 
defendant to have been charged in that manner. The charge is summarized in JuNSV as: 

Installing and tuning of [an] engine, whose exhaust fumes were led into the gas 
chamber. 'Trial gassing' of about 30 Jewish women as well as subsequent gassing of 
Jews arriving in 3-4 transports. Instruction of camp supervisor (Lageraufseher) Bauer - 
cf. Case Nr.212 - how to operate the engine. 72 

even the higher victim estimates by the perpetrators (80 victims inside a 16 sq m room = 5 victims per sq meter) 
are easily achievable, especially with a substantial portion of children and women among the gassing victims. 

65 Willy Just to Walter Rauff, 5.6.1942 BA R 58/871; cf. Kogon, Nationalsozialistische Massentotungen durch 
Giftgas, pp. 333-337. This number is entirely realistic, as some modern German train manufacturers specify the 
maximum standing capacity of their passenger cars (obviously full bodied, fully clothed adults) at 8 persons per 
square meter. See the advertising brochure from Tatra Trains, available at . 

66 MGK, Sobibor, p.36; M&G, Treblinka, p.156. 

67 Stephan Triiby, Exit-Architektur. Design Zwischen Krieg Und Frieden. Vien: Springer, 2008, p. 91. 

68 G. Keith Still, Crowd Dynamics, PhD, University of Warwick, 2000, Chapter 5, available at: . 

69 Jeff Kenworthy and Gang Hu, 'Threat to Global Survival? A Case Study of Land Use and Transportation 
Patterns in Chinese Cities, Murdoch University, 2000, available at Studies Asia/china/chinese.html . 

70 'Schone neue Welt,' Profil, Bd. 25 (1994), p.160. 

71 John Pucher, Nisha Korattyswaroopam, Neenu Ittyerah, 'The Crisis of Public Transport in India: 
Overwhelming Needs but Limited Resources,' Journal of Public Transportation, Vol. 7, No. 3 (2004), p. 101. 

72 Urteil gegen Fuchs. JuNSV Bd. XXV, Lfd. Nr. 641. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

Fuchs' admissions should therefore be given high priority because they relate most directly to 
the offence with which he was charged. He should also be given priority over Bauer in any 
matters of dispute between them because he was instructing Bauer. MGK's methodology is 
therefore flawed because it fails to examine the relative expertise of the witnesses and their 
access to information about the engine. 

MGK claim that Fuchs gave testimony in return for a light sentence. 73 However, 
although Fuchs was released from the Belzec proceedings, he received four years for 
Sobibor, which was commensurate with an accessory to murder charge. 

Following discussions by euthanasia head SS-Oberfuhrer Viktor Brack and Aktion 
Reinhard chief Globocnik in Lublin, Wirth eventually returned to his post in Belzec 
sometime in mid-May. As larger deportations to Belzec were extended into the Krakow 
district at the beginning of June, Wirth decided that Belzec' s gas chambers were in need of an 
overhaul. The camp was closed for a month, from mid- June to mid- July 1942, in order to 
construct newer, larger, and more effective gas chambers. It is also likely that the old wooden 
gas chambers had been tarnished by the sweat, blood, urine, and excrement of the many 
thousands of gas chamber victims. 74 

Following the dismantling of the three old wooden gas chambers, a solid concrete or 
brick building was constructed which housed six gas chambers. 75 Estimates on the size of the 
new gas chambers vary but were likely in the neighbourhood of 5 x 5 meters, an increase in 
gas chamber space by nearly half. Rudolf Reder, who arrived in Belzec in mid-August 1942, 
described the new gas chambers: 

In the small yard you went up the steps to the entrance door, above which there 
was a sign saying Bade und Inhalationsraeume as well as a large flower basket, 
which made it look as though it was really the entrance to a health spa. From the 
entrance a corridor, which had three solid and tightly sealed single doors one 
either side, ran the length of the building. These doors led into the windowless 
chambers, which at the far end wall, adjoining the loading ramps I described 
earlier, had double sliding doors. On the other side of the building, i.e. behind the 
wall at the far end of the corridor, there was a small room where the engines 
were. 76 

MGK, Sobibor, p. 185. 
Schelvis, Sobibor, p. 103. 

75 Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, p. 73; cf. Vernehmung Petr Browzev, 19.8.1974, ZStL 208 AR-Z 643/71, 
Vol. 2, pp.458-463, here p.460; Protokol doprosa, Vasilii Shuller, 15.12.1964, ASBU Dnepropetrovsk 44- 
32132-1, pp.113-6. 

76 Rudolf Reder, 29.12.45, BAL 162/208 AR-Z 252/59, p.1177-1176; cf. Schelvis, Sobibor, p.105. 


Gas Chambers at the Aktion Reinhard Camps 

Following the construction of new gas chambers at Belzec, the camp was also 
famously visited by SS Officers Kurt Gerstein and Professor Wilhelm Pfannenstiel. Gerstein 
described his inspection of the new gas chambers prior to a gassing as follows: 

After ascending a few small steps, we saw three rooms to our left and right, which 
looked like garages; 4 by 5 meters, 1.90 meters high. At the back, indiscernible, 
wooden exits. On the roof a Star of David made of copper. In front of the building 
a plaque with Hackenholt-Stiftung. That is all I saw that particular afternoon. 77 

Pfannenstiel later described the gassing on the next day: 

Once the hair of the women had been shorn, the whole transport was led into a 
building containing 6 chambers. As far as I know, only 4 were needed that time. 
When the people had been locked into the chambers, the exhaust gases of an 
engine were fed into these chambers. Gerstein determined that it took 18 minutes 
for everything to become quiet in the chambers. [...] Once stillness reigned, the 
outer doors of the chambers were opened and the corpses brought out, checked 
for gold teeth, and then piled up in a pit. Again, this work was performed by 
Jews. No physician was present. I did not notice anything unusual about the 
corpses. Some were bluish in the face. 78 

In Sobibor, for many of the same reasons as at Belzec, new gas chambers were 

constructed during a period when swampy soil conditions during the summer prevented 

widespread deportations to Sobibor. SS-Unterscharfiihrer Erwin Lambert took part in the 

construction work at Sobibor: 

As I already mentioned earlier, I spent between 14 days and three weeks at the 
Jewish extermination camp Sobibor. It may have been in the autumn of 1942. I 
cannot remember the exact dates though. Wirth had assigned me the task of 
enlarging the gas installations at Sobibor; I was supposed to build them using the 
example of Treblinka. I traveled to Sobibor with Lorenz Hackenholt. Hackenholt 
was at Treblinka at the time. We first traveled to a sawmill near Warsaw. 
Hackenholt ordered a large quantity of wood for the rebuilding works at Sobibor. 
Then we traveled on to Sobibor. We reported to camp commandant Reichleitner, 
who gave us the appropriate instructions for building the gas installation. The 
camp was already operational when we arrived and already had a gas chamber as 
well. The rebuilding was probably necessary because the old construction was 
either not big enough, or not solid enough. 79 

Franz Hodl also described the new gas chambers at Sobibor: 

There was a gas chamber with an attached room for an engine. The exhaust gases 
were directed into the chambers to gas the Jews. In the engine room there were 
two engines. There was a gasoline engine, probably from a Russian tank, and a 
diesel engine. The latter was not used. The gas chamber building contained 4 or 6 
chambers on both sides of a corridor, 3 on the left and 3 on the right (or 2 left and 


PS-1553, also in Riickerl, NS-Vernichtungslager, pp. 62-63. 

Wilhelm Pfannenstiel, 6.6.1950, BAL 162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd. 1, 43; also cited in Mattogno, Belzec, 56. 

Erwin Lambert, 2.10.1962, BAL 162/208 AR-Z 251/59, Bd. 8, pp.1542-1543; cf. Schelvis, Sobibor, p.104. 


Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard 

2 right). The people were forced into these rooms from the corridor. After the 
gassing the outside doors could be opened and the bodies removed. 80 

In his work on Sobibor, Jules Schelvis compiles several of Hodl's testimonies from 
the 1960s into a single statement 81 , which MGK have criticized as "confusing," not bothering 
with any further analysis. 82 In one of these statements that Schelvis uses (above), Hodl states 
that there were four or six gas chambers in the camp, while in a statement made three years 
previously, Hodl states that there were six or eight chambers. 83 Both of the statements 
mentioned six chambers, a number largely agreed upon by other witnesses as well. Had the 
Revisionists gone to the original sources, a necessary measure for their very limited and 
specific criticisms of witness state